Marseille and Lazio will aim to make this week’s Europa League contest a better watch for the neutrals when they reconvene at the Orange Velodrome for Thursday’s Group E contest.
The two continental giants played out a drab goalless stalemate on matchday three and are separated by one point in the rankings at the midway point.
Having seemingly lost their magic early-season touch, Marseille’s struggles to make the net ripple in Europe are well-documented, and Jorge Sampaoli could not inspire his side to victory over Lazio amid their barren goalscoring run.
Over the past six weeks, Les Olympiens have also failed to score against Angers, Galatasaray, Lille and Paris Saint-Germain, and they had to rely on a 25tth-minute Cengiz Under strike to get over the line against newly-promoted Clermont in Ligue 1 at the weekend.
Marseille may be undefeated in the 2021-22 Europa League, but a record of three stalemates from their opening three contests sees Sampaoli’s side sit third, which would see them drop down to the unfancied Europa Conference League by the close of play in the group stage.
However, Marseille can take solace in the fact that they welcome Lazio to the Orange Velodrome unbeaten in five across all competitions – conceding just twice in that solid run – and with all three points enough to see them leapfrog the Italian giants into second, Sampaoli’s side would choose no better time to rediscover their clinical edge.
Lazio’s clash with Marseille did not produce a flurry of goals that several expected, but the Biancocelesti’s battle with Atalanta BC did, as the two sides ultimately settled on a share of the spoils following a four-goal stalemate in Saturday’s Serie A battle.
Twice Lazio went ahead through Pedro and Ciro Immobile, and twice they were pegged back by Duvan Zapata and Marten de Roon – the latter netting his side’s second in the fourth minute of second half injury time – as Maurizio Sarri witnessed his side throw two points away in dismal fashion.
The Italian giants did see off Lokomotiv Moscow with ease on matchday two of the Europa League, but failure to beat Marseille and defeat to Galatasaray leaves the second-placed Biancocelesti three points adrift of the latter and at risk of missing out on an expected first-placed finish in Group E.
Lazio’s inconsistent nature has bedevilled them majorly since the start of October – chalking up just two wins from their last six games in all competitions – and Sarri’s side are winless in their last six away games before a journey to the ever-hostile Orange Velodrome.
Marseille Europa League form:
Marseille form (all competitions):
Lazio Europa League form:
Lazio form (all competitions):
We say: Marseille 1-1 Lazio
With only three goals scored and two conceded between them in the Europa League between them so far, sparks may not fly at the Orange Velodrome, but both managers will be desperate for their sides to consign their drab matchday three affair to history.
Marseille’s new-found defensive resilience and home advantage will work in their favour, but we still expect an inconsistent Lazio to do enough to come away with a point as their winless streak on the road continues.