The beauty of intercontinental games is this: they give a club competing it plenty of prestige, especially if they’re the only ones in the competition flying the flag of a select league.
But there’s a downside to this glorious side. The further clubs go in the competition, the more games they have to play and the higher the chances of the injury lists getting longer.
For the 4 clubs that remain in the Europa League (Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, Marseille and Salzburg), there’s nothing more they will want than to go as far as the final of the competition. Winning this EL trophy is the only way Arsenal, A. Madrid and Marseille can avoid a trophy-less season.
But it still comes down to which two teams will qualify for the final which will be played at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Décines-Charpieu, Lyon, France on 16 May 2018.
Atletico Madrid vs. Arsenal
Arsenal was unable to finish off Atletico Madrid in the first leg of this encounter, despite playing against 10 Atleti players for over 80 minutes. Atleti’s goal in that encounter means the Spanish sides have the advantage going into the return leg.
Arsenal is undefeated in their last 5 home games in the competition. They will be looking to use all that momentum to defeat Diego Simeone’s men. But defeating A. Madrid at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano stadium has been difficult for most teams.
Do you think Arsenal can be the second team to inflict a second home defeat on Diego Costa and co. this year?
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It’s not the first time Arsenal will be playing football in Spain. But it’s the first time the Gunners will be playing against Atletico Madrid in Spain.
Will both teams score in this game?
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Salzburg vs. Marseille
In the past 6 games they’ve played at home, Salzburg has only failed to score once. Marseille has a similar record away from home too: in all the last 6 games they’ve played away from home, they have only failed to score once.
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The first leg of this encounter ended in a 2-0 win for Marseille. That means there’s plenty of work for the Austrian side to do.
Apart from trying to outscore their French opponents, Salzburg must also keep it tight at the back. Any goals conceded in this game will only make their already-difficult task of qualifying for the final even harder.
In their last 6 games at home, Salzburg kept a clean sheet 4 times. What’s more encouraging for the Austrians is the fact that Marseille has conceded at least one goal in all of the last 6 away games they’ve played in all competitions.
With all these stats and numbers, which of these two teams do you think stands a higher chance of qualifying for the final? Which team do you think will win the trophy? Leave us a comment and share your thoughts with us.