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Atalanta vs Marseille: Preview and Prediction

Atalanta’s charge on three fronts continued on Monday night with a 2-1 victory at Salernitana, putting them within touching distance of Champions League qualification for next season and potentially the 2023/24 Europa League (UEL). They hold the advantage in this semi-final tie against Marseille after a 1-1 draw in France last week, not least because their opponents have been woeful travelers, both domestically and abroad, in recent months.

Manager Gian Piero Gasperini has urged Atalanta fans to renew their passports for the UEL final in Dublin in May, declaring that while they “must be wary” after failing to win three of their last six home games in all competitions (3 wins, 1 draw, 2 defeats), he is confident they are in great shape for three decisive matches in seven days. The odds suggest Marseille should be a much easier task at home than Liverpool were in the quarter-finals (away, 1-0) and Atalanta’s home record as pre-match favorites in all cups this season is another encouraging point before this clash (16 wins, 3 draws, 2 defeats).

Marseille’s chances of European qualification for next season through Ligue 1 are fading, so they will have to put all their eggs in this basket. Their trip to Reims in Ligue 1 was postponed to allow manager Jean-Louis Gasset to prepare for this away match and the 70-year-old assured the media last week that the team “knows what to do” to reach the final.

Marseille have reached the semi-final stage almost exclusively thanks to home wins and last week’s 1-1 draw has left them in a precarious position. To progress to the final, Marseille will need to claim what would be only their fifth away win in all competitions this season (4 wins, 7 draws, 13 defeats) and that seems unlikely after losing ten of their last thirteen away games where they were not the pre-match favorites (1 win, 2 draws, 10 defeats).

Players to Watch:

  • Atalanta striker Gianluca Scamacca is in red-hot form of late. He has scored in eight of his last ten appearances, including the opener against both Salernitana and Marseille.
  • For the Olympiens, eight of defender Jonathan Clauss’s last nine goals have come away from home, including two in this edition of the UEL.

Hot Stat: Both teams have scored in nine of Marseille’s 13 UEL matches this season (69%).


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