Athletic Bilbao vs Olmpique Marseille
|Date & Time||Thursday February 18, 2016, 3:05 PM (EST)|
The Line: Marseille Draw Bilbao
Bt Sport; ESPN; Fox Sport
On Thursday the Velodrome in Marseille will see the meeting of Athletic Bilbao and Marseille in what should be a highly entertaining game of football between two teams that like to play expansive football. Atheltic Bilbao have had a mixed bag season but are a tough team to beat, they have struggled on the road at times this season though and the Velodrome is not an easy place to go to. Williams, Aduriz and Muiain will bring the game to Marseille in an attacking sense. Athletic have scored in all of their Europa League games this season and will look to continue the trend on the road here.
Marseille come into this one as slight undedogs and to be honest I think that's probably fair given their patchy home form over the last month or so, with that said Marseille have most definitely improved in recent weeks and have just one loss in their last five games (to PSG). Marseille will look to Batshuayi who is having a terrific season to lead them to victory here, the striker has been excellent this season with twelve goals, his best return in Ligue 1 since transfering from Standard Liege. The young striker is a quality player and looks likely to be involved for Belgium this summer in Euro 2016. With Stephen Fletcher also in the squad Marseille have something different to bring on if the game is not going their way, Isla, Diarra and NKoudou will also be key here and Marseille to me at least look well placed to win this game.
I'm taking Marseille here. While I acknowledge that they are not having a great season this Marseille team has some talent and in big games they have most definitely produced lately, very unlucky to lose to PSG in what was a cracking game two weeks ago, I think Marseille will get a win here and bring a lead to Spain for the second leg.