Atalanta vs Marseille: Preview and Prediction

Atalanta and Marseille reconvene their newly-formed rivalry for their second leg of the Europa League semi-final, with the game poised so far.

Gian Piero Gasperini will aim to make history and take his Atalanta side into their first-ever European final at the expense of Marseille. Should the Bergamo side go there and win, it would be the first time an Italian side have lifted the UEFA Europa League trophy in its current iteration, which cementing Gasperini as one of the greatest in the country.

However, they still have a big game against Marseille to manoeuvre to get there, with the scores poised at 1-1 on aggregate after the first leg in France. Gianluca Scamacca’s early strike gave Atalanta the lead for a short while before Chancel Mbemba’s thunderbolt put the game back on level terms.

Atalanta come into this clash with a strong home record in European competitions, losing just twice in 17 encounters in Bergamo. In Serie A, they finished the weekend in fifth place after a victory over relegated Salernitana. Italy now have five spots for next season’s UEFA Champions League. Should they finish outside those positions and win the Europa League, they could become the sixth side from Italy in the competition next season.

On the other hand, Marseille do not have good form away from home, which is essential ahead of this clash against Atalanta. They have won only one of their six away games in Europe this season.

Now, they head to Bergamo with the game level, although other favourites exist. Even in Ligue 1, they have the joint-worst away record this season, securing only 11 points on the road, which will worry Jean-Louis Gasset

Gasset is Marseille’s third managerial appointment this season, and he will hope to end his short-term contract with the Europa League title. Before he does that, the team must overcome Atalanta first, then one of AS Roma or Bayer Leverkusen.

Team News & Tactics


Atalanta do have a bit of problems on the injury front, with Sead Kolasinac unlikely to recover in time from the problem suffered in the previous leg. He joins Emil Holm and skipper Rafael Toloi on the sidelines, although the latter has resumed full training. But Thursday’s game may have come too soon for him.

Gian Piero Gasperini took his chance to rest some of his critical stars, including Teun Koopmeiners, Charles De Ketelaere and Berat Djimsiti this past weekend. Atalanta will also have Isak Hien back in contention after missing the first leg through a suspension.

Gasperini will stick with his back three of Djimsiti, Marten De Roon and Giorgio Scalvini. Ederson and Mario Pasalic will marshall the midfield zones, with Davide Zappacosta and Matteo Ruggeri being the wing-backs.

Ademola Lookman and Koopmeiners will support Scamacca in the frontline, with Koopmeiners and Lookman set to play slightly behind the striker in the formation.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Musso; Djimsiti, De Roon, Scalvini; Zappacosta, Pasalic, Ederson, Ruggeri; Lookman, Koopmeiners; Scamacca


Jean-Louis Gasset could make a few changes, although he will have a few of his players missing. Bilal Nadir, Bamo Meite, and Valentin Rongier are not in contention for the trip to Bergamo. A back three of Chancel Mbemba, Leonardo Balerdi and Michael Amir Murillo could be used for Gasset’s side against Atalanta.

The Marseille manager might have a few selection headaches to help the team turn the result around, including the presence of Ismaila Sarr in the attacking third.

Faris Moumbagna and Iliman Ndiaye are in contention to fight for a place alongside Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the front two, with the former a big possibility to start ahead of Sarr in the pecking order.

Gasset will rely on the trio of Geoffrey Kondogbia, Jordan Veretout and Azzedine Ounahi in midfield, with Jonathan Clauss and Luis Henrique lining up on the wings.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Lopez; Mbemba, Balerdi, Murillo; Clauss, Veretout, Kondogbia, Ounahi, Henrique; Moumbagna, Aubameyang

Key Stats

  • Atalanta have lost only two of their last 17 home games in European competitions.
  • Atalanta have won ten of their last 17 of those home European games, keeping 8 clean sheets.
  • Atalanta have won 11 of their last 14 home games in all competitions.
  • Marseille have won only one of their 6 European away games this season.
  • In Ligue 1, Marseille have the joint-worst away record this season, collecting only 11 points on the road.

Player to Watch

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Embed from Getty Images

A player re-born at Marseille, Aubameyang has a glorious chance to put his name in Marseille folklore with a stellar performance to take the club into the Europa League final. The Gabonese striker has been quiet despite his explosive season at the French club; he also comes into this clash as the Europa League’s top scorer this term and the competition’s all-time top marksman.

There is a big task for Marseille to manoeuvre their way into the final, although their away form this season on all fronts has been abysmal at best. Players like Aubameyang must step up to the occasion and perform at their best to help create history for the French club.


Atalanta 2-1 Marseille

Atalanta are not the best side on the continent, and neither in Italy when defending their lead. So they surprised many by keeping a clean sheet against Liverpool earlier at Anfield. However, La Dea have been solid in European home games and will look to improve their form when they host Marseille.

On the other hand, Marseille have one of the worst forms on the road for one of Europe’s heavyweights, which may make them rue their chances of reaching the final when they visit Atalanta. Hence, the Bergamo side are clear favourites to go ahead and make it to the Europa League final, and a slender win over Marseille is what we expect from this encounter.

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