Olympique Marseille and Red Bull Salzburg meet in a Europa League semi-final this Thursday after both sides made remarkable comebacks in the second part of the quarter-final stage. The French side trailed RB Leipzig 1-0 when they welcomed them to the Stade Velodrome - once again the venue for Thursday night’s tie - but claimed a 5-2 home win to send them through to the final four.
Rudi Garcia’s side have not reserved their free-scoring displays for European competition this term, winning their last two domestic ties by score lines of 2-3 and 5-1 respectively. They’re a joint best-priced 4/1 with 888Sport to win the tournament.
The visitors to this particularly picturesque part of the world, the Austrian Champions Red Bull Salzburg, might not be as familiar to many as their esteemed hosts but have performed like seasoned campaigners in the competition this term.
Marco Rose’s men trailed Lazio 4-2 when welcoming them to the Red Bull Salzburg Arena, where a remarkable four-goal glut saw them come out victorious. They’re the outsiders for the competition outright at 13/2 with Ladbrokes.
These two in-form outfits have met before, most recently when being drawn in the same group for the first stage of this competition. Salzburg had the better of those two ties, claiming a 1-0 win at home and a goalless draw away and, partly as a consequence of those results, went through to the knockout stages as group winners.
With two sides on upswings clashing and with a place in Kiev at stake, everything looks set for a rip-roaring European night. Whichever one of these sides that comes out on top after this tie will head to the Ukraine as underdogs, with the better-fancied pairing of Arsenal and Atletico Madrid playing out the second semi-final for the right to favouritism in the final.
We’ve picked a couple of avenues that we can look to earn a bit of corn at the bookmaker’s expense through this Thursday.
The attacking capabilities of each of these sides has been outlined above and those attacks are expected to put a few notches on the scoreline between them at the Stade Velodrome. Florian Thauvin has been a revelation for OM this season, scoring 19 to date while the Israeli frontman Moanes Dabour sits on the same number for Salzburg.
The bookmakers are fairly wide to the chances of an open affair here, with over 2.5 goals trading at 8/13 at BetBright and that’s representative of the price across the boards. Unibet are offering 8/5 about over 3.5 goals being scored in this one and, while that one was mulled over, we’ve just thought the better of it. Instead, we’ll plum for a good, old-fashioned both teams to score wager.
The hosts are in spectacular goalscoring form, as has been discussed, but their visitors are something to behold on the front foot too and are fancied to bag themselves. Each of them to get on the scoreline at least once is a 4/6 chance with Black Type and, while prices like that don’t exactly set the pulse racing, it’s a solid proposition and is confidently forecasted to cop.
The bookies make OM an odds-on favourite here, with 888Sport offering 19/29 about them coming out on top. The draw is available at the 3/1 mark with William Hill, while BetBright are giving quotes of 4/1 about an away win. Red Bull Salzburg have been a punter’s friend all the way through this competition, constantly being priced up at odds-against by bookmakers and constantly coming up with the goods, and we’re keen to stay by their side after they did us a favour in the last round.
While the 4/1 about them snatching a win is of interest, Marseille are formidably at their own ground and even our confidence in the Austrians can’t convince us to back them outright on French soil. One bet that does appeal, though, is the Double Chance option. The Austrians getting a win or a draw for their troubles is 13/10 with bet365 on those terms and that’s the one for us.
There remarkable European journey to this point can continue with a fruitful night in southern France and leave us in clover in the process. We’re happy to take Salzburg to get a result here in a game in which both teams bag as our two wagers in the hopes of turning a profit from this one.