Preview: Marseille vs. Feyenoord

Preview: Marseille vs. Feyenoord

Following a dramatic encounter in the Netherlands last week, Marseille and Feyenoord will square off in the second leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final tie tonight.

Feyenoord took a slender 3-2 lead but face the tough test of a trip to France with everything still to play for.

Dropping into Europe’s tertiary competition as one of the favourites for the trophy after their exit from the Europa League group stage, Marseille cruised through the early knockout rounds, seeing off Qarabag and Basel to reach the quarter-finals.

Greek outfit PAOK then stood in their way, and Jorge Sampaoli’s side continued to assert their dominance, prevailing with a 3-1 aggregate victory as they won 2-1 on home turf and sealed their progression with a narrow away triumph thanks to Dimitri Payet’s second goal of the tie.

That booked them a challenging semi-final tie with Feyenoord, and the away leg did not get off to a good start, as they trailed 2-0 after 20 minutes, before Bamba Dieng and Gerson levelled the game inside the first half.

While they did eventually fall to a defeat in Rotterdam, Les Olympiens should not be too disheartened heading into the home leg, as they only trail by a single goal while holding home advantage.

However, the recent 3-0 defeat to Lyon may provide more cause for concern, and Ligue 1’s second-placed side will hope to put that result behind them and quickly bounce back on Thursday as they aim to overturn the deficit and move into the Conference League final.

Feyenoord, meanwhile, will aim to see out the aggregate win on their travels with the final in their sights.

Thanks to their eye-catching form this season on all fronts, the Dutch outfit headed into the home leg with plenty of momentum, having cruised through the group stage and seen off Partizan and Slavia Prague on their route to the final four.

They made an eye-catching start to last week’s encounter, racing into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Cyriel Dessers and Luis Sinisterra, before Dessers hit his second of the game immediately after half time to ensure they travel to France with a narrow lead following Les Olympiens’ recovery.

Arne Slot’s side then continued building momentum at the weekend, putting up a fifth straight win in all competitions and taking another huge step towards a third-placed finish in the Eredivisie by beating Fortuna Sittard 3-1 thanks to a Lutsharel Geertruida brace and a Reiss Nelson goal.

Now with a top-three finish within touching distance, De Stadionclub will aim to add to what has been a stellar campaign by booking their place in the inaugural Europa Conference League final.

Marseille Europa Conference League form:
Marseille form (all competitions):
Feyenoord Europa Conference League form:
Feyenoord form (all competitions):

We say: Marseille 3-1 Feyenoord (Marseille win 5-4 on aggregate)
The first leg showed that the two sides each possess the attacking quality to trouble the other, and we anticipate another exciting and high-scoring affair on Thursday.

The game could certainly go either way in France, but we back Sampaoli’s side to overturn the deficit and triumph with home advantage.

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