Marseille vs Shakhtar Donetsk Predictions

Marseille vs Shakhtar Donetsk predictions ahead of this Europa League playoff clash. Marseille, under their third manager this season and facing internal turmoil, host Shakhtar Donetsk at the Orange Velodrome for the Europa League knockout round playoff second leg on Thursday. Read on for our free Europa League betting tips and match preview.

Marseille
Shakhtar Donetsk

Europa League | Knockout Round Playoffs | 2nd Leg – Feb 22, 2024 at 8pm UK at Stade Velodrome

Marseille vs Shakhtar Donetsk Predictions

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A Tense Showdown at Stade Velodrome: Marseille’s Resilience vs Shakhtar’s Resolve

Key Stats
Marseille’s Unbeaten Home Streak: 13 matches without defeat at Stade Velodrome in European competition.
Aubameyang’s Europa League Record: Equalled Radamel Falcao with his 30th goal in the competition.
Shakhtar’s Tactical Flexibility: Managed to score in each of their last three encounters against Marseille.

In the vibrant heart of Marseille, the Stade Velodrome stands ready to host a crucial Europa League knockout round playoff tie, with Olympique Marseille looking to overturn a tumultuous period against a resilient Shakhtar Donetsk side. This encounter promises not just a battle for progression but also a narrative of redemption and resilience.

The Prelude

Marseille, amidst managerial upheavals and a dip in form, find themselves at a crossroads. The departure of Gennaro Gattuso and the arrival of Jean-Louis Gasset herald a new chapter, one that Marseille hope is filled with success, starting with this critical European fixture. Despite their recent struggles, Marseille’s formidable home record offers a glimmer of hope to a side desperate for victory.

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Shakhtar Donetsk, on the other hand, arrive in France buoyed by their performance in the first leg and an unbeaten record against Marseille. The Ukrainian champions have shown they can go toe-to-toe with Europe’s best, and they will be looking to exploit any vulnerability in the Marseille armour.

Tactical Analysis and Team Dynamics

Marseille’s Strategy and Lineup

Under Gasset’s stewardship, Marseille is expected to display a blend of cautious aggression and tactical discipline. The possible return of Geoffrey Kondogbia and Samuel Gigot from suspension could bolster their midfield and defence, respectively, providing the stability needed to counter Shakhtar’s attacking threat. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s prowess and experience upfront will be crucial for Marseille, especially in converting chances into goals.

Expected Marseille Lineup: Blanco; Clauss, Mbemba, Gigot, Merlin; Ounahi, Kondogbia, Harit; Ndiaye, Moumbagna, Aubameyang.

This lineup suggests Marseille will focus on solidifying their defence while exploiting the pace and creativity of their forwards to unsettle the Shakhtar defence.

Shakhtar’s Approach and Expected Eleven

Shakhtar’s strategy will likely revolve around maintaining possession and exploiting the flanks, with the absence of Valeriy Bondar through suspension being a significant blow. However, the experience of Yaroslav Rakitskyi could provide the necessary stability at the back. Shakhtar will rely on the creativity of players like Oleksandr Zubkov and Mykola Matviyenko to breach the Marseille defence.

Expected Shakhtar Lineup: Riznyk; Konoplya, Rakitskyi, Matvienko, Azarovi; Bondar, Stepanenko, Sudakov; Zubkov, Sikan, Eguinaldo.

Shakhtar’s lineup, balanced between youth and experience, is designed to apply pressure on Marseille while being mindful of their counter-attacking threat.

Key Battles and Areas of Interest

The midfield duel, especially between Kondogbia and Stepanenko, could dictate the pace and control of the game. Additionally, the clash between Aubameyang and Rakitskyi will be pivotal in the final third, with both players’ performances potentially deciding the outcome.

Predictions

  1. Market Prediction: Under 2.5 Goals – Given the stakes and the first-leg result, a cautious approach from both sides is likely. Marseille’s focus on shoring up their defence and Shakhtar’s tactical discipline suggest a game with few clear-cut chances.
  2. Correct Score Prediction: Marseille 1-0 Shakhtar Donetsk – Marseille’s urgent need for a win, combined with their home advantage and Shakhtar’s competitive inactivity, could see the French side edge a narrow victory.
  3. Goalscorer Prediction: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Aubameyang’s experience and goal-scoring record in Europe make him the prime candidate to find the back of the net in such a crucial fixture.
  4. Team to Score First: Marseille – With the backing of the home crowd and the necessity to overturn the first-leg result, Marseille is likely to push for an early goal to dictate the game’s tempo.
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Robin Bylund
Robin is a Premier League fanatic from Sweden that barely misses a minute of action from England's top flight. Robin's been with us since 2015 and combines his work for us with his own Podcast, while also freelancing as a translator and content producer for various media outlets.