Rudi Garcia’s Marseille and Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid go head-to-head at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Decines-Charpieu in the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday 16th May.

The Spanish giants head to France as odds-on favourites to seal their third Europa League crown in eight years. However, having got this far, Les Phoceens will not give Los Rojiblancos an easy ride in Lyon.

We have the best betting odds, top tips and predictions in our in-depth Europa League final preview. Will Simeone’s side lift another European cup, or can Marseille defy the odds and put the Europa League in their trophy cabinet?

Marseille v Atletico Madrid: Los Colchoneros Too Strong for Marseille in France

These two sides have had contrasting routes to the last two, but both are worthy finalists. Garcia’s men finished runners-up to Red Bull Salzburg in Group I, gaining just eight points from six games. Marseille have really come to life in the knockout rounds, beating the likes of Braga, Athletic Bilbao and Red Bull Leipzig.

The Olympians were then drawn against Salzburg – who had taken four points off them in the group stage – in the semi-finals. After a solid 2-0 win at the Stade Velodrome, Marseille needed extra-time as the Red Bulls won 2-0 after 90 minutes in the Red Bull Arena. Up stepped substitute Rolando to be the hero in the 116th minute to put Marseille through.

Atleti are normally very strong in the UEFA Champions League, but Los Colchoneros were knocked out in the group stage of this season’s competition. In a tough Group C with the likes of Roma and Chelsea, Simeone’s side finished third, winning just one of six group games.

As a consequence, Atletico dropped into the Europa League, where they faced Copenhagen in the Round of 32. After making light work of the Danes, Madrid then brushed aside Lokomotiv Moscow and Sporting Lisbon. In the semi-finals, Simeone’s troops beat Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal 2-1 on aggregate to make it through to the final.

At this moment in time, Atleti sit second in La Liga, four points clear of rivals Real Madrid. Even if they don’t lift the Europa League in Lyon, Los Colchoneros will be back in the Champions League next season.

Marseille are involved in a fascinating battle for a place in the top three of Ligue 1 this term. At present, Garcia’s side sit just one point outside of the Champions League places, although only two points separate Lyon, Monaco and Marseille. Los Phoceens have two chances to secure Champions League football for next term but can they take this one?

These two sides have only met on two occasions, with both games coming in the 2008-09 Champions League campaign. After a 2-1 win at the Vicente Calderon for Madrid, Atleti were then held to a 0-0 draw in Marseille. The two clubs have come a long way since then, though.

Looking at the odds comparison for this fascinating final, it’s no surprise to see Atleti the strong favourites with the bookies. Los Rojiblancos are very hard to beat and have all the experience in the world when it comes to European finals. The best odds you can get on the Madrid win are 8/11 with Bet365.

Marseille have no doubt defied the odds to reach this far. Despite riding their luck on a number of occasions in this year’s tournament, Garcia’s boys have found a way to win. If you fancy the French Ligue 1 outfit to cause an upset in the final, Pinnacle’s tempting price of 118/25 are your best betting odds.

Having said that, it’s hard to look past Atleti in this big final. Simeone’s side are incredibly hard to break down and have some very capable strikers in the shape of Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann at the other end. We can see this being a comfortable evening for the Spaniards, so take a punt on Bet365’s solid betting odds of 6/1 for Atletico Madrid to win 2-0 in Lyon.


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