Dull, low-scoring final: Marseille vs Atletico Madrid Europa League Final
Marseille take on Atletico Madrid in the Europa League final in Lyon. Infogol’s Analyst uses expected goals (xG) to assess both teams, and generate the best bets for the game.
Marseille Expected Goals (xG)
Marseille make their first European final appearance since 2004, with the stakes arguably higher for them than their opponents.
Les Olympiens currently sit fourth in France’s Ligue 1, and with them unlikely to finish in the top three, they need to win the Europa League in order to return to Europe’s top table.
They needed extra-time to overcome Salzburg 3-2 in the last round, and the tight result reflected how close the tie actually was (2 leg xG: SAL 2.0 – 2.0 MAR).
Rudi Garcia’s side have been defensively impressive in the Europa League so far this season, conceding less than 1 xG on six occasions so far, conceding an average of just 1.2 xG per game.
They have been very potent in attack, with players like Dimitri Payet, Florian Thauvin and Valerie Germain all providing a threat, but this threat may be halted in the final against one of the strongest defences in Europe.
The teams most potent attacking threats: Griezmann and Payet
Atletico Madrid Expected Goals (xG)
Atletico Madrid surprised many at the weekend by playing a full strength team away at Getafe, but that decision did earn them a fortunate 1-0 win (xG: GET 1.3 – 0.8 ATM).
They are used to that score line, and it was a 1-0 home win that saw them through to the final, beating Arsenal 2-1 on aggregate.
Arsenal did show that you can cause Diego Simeone’s team problems and that you can create chances, but the problem you then face is one of Europe’s best stoppers.
Jan Oblak was undoubtedly the man of that tie, as Atletico continue to rely on his heroics (2 leg xG: ATM 3.0 – 3.3 ARS).
Whether Atletico Madrid will start conceding the amount of goals they are expected to, based on chances conceded, remains to be seen, but clinical finishing is needed for sure.
Though they are reliant on their defence, Simeone’s side also carry a great threat in attack. Antione Griezmann is their talisman, and he is averaging 0.8 xG per 90 minutes in the Europa League this season, so expect him to have a say in the outcome of this match.
Both of these sides are solid defensively and are good in attack, but comparing the two; Atletico Madrid are a slight class above. Either way, don’t expect too many goals in this final, with Antoine Griezmann the best bet to open the scoring.
Under 2.5 goals @ 4/6
Antoine Griezmann to score first @ 5/2