If this match were to be decided on European pedigree, then Atletico Madrid would win easily. They have won this trophy twice since it was rebranded in 2009, and have also been to two Champions League finals in that period.
While this is their fifth European final in nine seasons, it’s Marseille’s fifth ever, and first since 2004. Diego Simeone’s side also have the edge on historical meetings, albeit they’ve only met twice and it was back in 2008. However, it’s no surprise to see Atleti are strong favourites to win.
Karamba have the Spanish side as 10/17 to win in 90 minutes, while Les Olympiens are 19/4, but as it’s a final we have to bear in mind the possibility of extra-time and penalties. SportNation price Atleti as 20/59 to take the trophy home, with Marseille available at 41/20. You can also bet on the sides to win in extra time or penalties, and that’s definitely worth considering.
Atletico Madrid’s last two European finals have gone to extra-time, and one went to a shootout. It took extra-time for Marseille to see off Red Bull Salzburg in the semi-final this year too, so this final could easily go the distance.
It’s interesting to note Marseille are a shorter price to win on penalties than they are to do so in extra-time. The French side are priced at 12/1 to win on spot kicks with Redbet, but 20/1 to win in 120 minutes, whereas Atleti’s prices are 12/1 and 8/1 respectively. It’s perhaps surprising the teams have almost identical records in league this season.
Rudi Garcia’s team have won 21 and drawn 5 of their Ligue 1 matches, while Los Rojiblancos have won 23 and lost 5 in the Spanish top flight. However, three of those defeats have occurred since Barcelona ended any hopes of winning the league.
Atleti are certainly favourites with good reason. It therefore seems reasonable to assume the match will largely be played on their terms, and if that’s the case then we shouldn’t expect many goals. Their two recent Champions League finals ended 1-1, and just 12 of their league matches in 2017/18 have featured at least three goals.
In Europe, Atletico Madrid’s low goals record is even more pronounced. They may have cut loose against Copenhagen and Locomotive Moscow in the early Europa League rounds, but from the quarter-finals onwards there haven’t been more than two goals in any of their four matches. Atleti were also the only side in the Champions League group stage to have just one match with three-or-more goals in this season.
You get the idea. The bet here has to be for under 2.5 goals, and it’s available at 5/8 with NetBet. Three of Marseille’s last four Europa League matches have had fewer than three goals in 90 minutes too, and it’s safe to assume their 5-2 win over RB Leipzig is not a score line we’ll see repeated here.
It’s a very similar picture when we look at the ‘both teams to score’ market. Les Olympiens have seen both sides find the net in 21 of their Ligue 1 matches in 2017/18, whereas it has only happened in 23 of Atleti’s league matches over the past two years. At least one side has drawn a blank in 8 of Los Rojiblancos’ 14 European matches this season, so the bet has to be ‘no’ when it comes to both teams to score. It’s available at 2.11 (11/10) with Bet-at-Home.
If Marseille are to score, then Florian Thauvin is surely their best hope. He is Ligue 1’s second top scorer, with 22 goals this season, and he has picked up three in the Europa League too. The number 26 is in fine form, having scored eight goals in his last eight appearances. Eight of his goals in 2017/18 have been openers, and he’s 9/1 with 888sport to add to that tally against Atleti, or 4/1 with the same firm to net at any point.
Antoine Griezmann is the favourite to score, and can be backed at 23/17 with 888sport to do just that. Like his compatriot Thauvin he has scored 25 goals in league and Europe this season, and has netted four times in his last nine games. Griezmann is 33/10 at top football betting sites to bag the opening goal, which is something he’s done seven times this term.
Marseille were the last French team to reach the final of this competition, and it was the only previous example where a team from that country faced a Spanish team. However, they lost 2-0 to Valencia, and I think a similar fate will befall them in Lyon on Wednesday. Atletico Madrid are available at 7/5 with BetBright to win to nil in 90 minutes, and that’s the outcome I expect.
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