After a 3-1 victory in the first leg at home, Marseille is a step closer to the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Finals, but Athletic Bilbao hopes they can make it up in front of the home fans as the second leg is set for this Thursday, March 15th, 2018, at San Mames in Bilbao. The hosts are +130 favorites to win this clash, while the bookies favor Marseille at -600 to reach the next round, so let’s see what can we expect from these two sides, and how to beat the lines on the totals here.
Athletic Bilbao vs. Marseille
3-Way: 1: Athletic Bilbao +130; X: +250 Draw; 2: Marseille +205 at BetDSI Sportsbook
Total +2.5: Over -115; Under -105
Both Teams to Score Yes/No: -140/+115
The Lions were easily beaten by Marseille 3-1 in the first leg in France last Thursday, and they were pretty lucky to concede just three goals, as we could see at least a couple of more in their net. The goalkeeper Iago Herrerin had a magnificent night, making some tremendous stops, saving his team from a heavy defeat, so the Lions will need a two-goal margin victory if they want to proceed to the next round of the Europa League competition.
Athletic Bilbao has won just two out of their previous seven matches in all competitions along with one draw and four losses, scoring seven goals in the process, and conceding nine in a return, which is 2.29 goals per contest on average, while three out of these seven tilts were finished in the over. At San Mames, the Lions have a 3-5-2 record in the last ten matches, keeping the clean sheet on five occasions, while only five out of their 21 home games this season had more than two goals in the total.
The 37-year old striker Aritz Aduriz is a team’s leading scorer with 19 goals in 40 appearances, and he scored the only goal for the Lions last Thursday. The midfielder Raul Garcia has netted 11 times in 41 matches thus far, while the winger Inaki Williams has scored seven goals in 41 apps this season. The forward Markel Susaeta is the team’s top assist-maker with seven dishes in 39 appearances, while Inaki Williams is right behind him with six dishes on his account.
The manager Cuco Ziganda is still without Iker Muniain (knee), Mikel San Jose will have to serve his yellow card suspension, while all other players are ready to go.
The Olympians put on a great performance in the first leg at home last week, deservedly taking that 3-1 victory, but they can regret a few missed opportunities to make this lead even bigger. The striker Valere Germain had a couple of massive scoring chances to make it 3-0 in the first half, failing to keep his nerves in those one-on-one situations with Athletic Bilbao’s goalkeeper, so the Olympians will have to be careful in the second leg in Spain.
Marseille has won three out of their last seven matches in all competitions along with one stalemate and three defeats, scoring seven goals in the process, and allowing ten in a return, which is 2.43 goals per contest on average, while four out of these seven matches were ended in the over. They’ve won just one out of their previous five games on the road, along with one draw and three losses, failing to score in all these three defeats, but two of them were against the mighty PSG team.
The 25-year old winger Florian Thauvin is leading his team with 18 goals and 16 assists in 42 appearances this season, while Valere Germain is the second-best goalscorer, netting 15 times in 43 matches so far. The playmaker Dimitri Payet made 15 dishes in 34 appearances thus far, adding six goals to his name, also scoring one goal in the first leg against the Lions.
Florian Thauvin bruised his ankle last Thursday, and he’s still doubtful for this Europa League clash, but he’ll be probably on the bench, at least, while the manager Rudi Garcia can count on all other important first team players.
Betting on the Totals – Trends
- 16 out of 21 Athletic Bilbao’s home matches were finished in the under
- Four out of the last ten Bilbao’s games in all competitions were ended in the over
- Athletic Bilbao kept the net intact in a half of their last ten matches on the home soil
- Four out of the last five Marseille’s away matches had at least three goals in the total
- Four out of the previous five Marseille’s games overall were ended in the over
- Marseille failed to score in three out of their last five away matches
Athletic Bilbao vs. Marseille – Match Prediction
The hosts are slight favorites to win this match, but they will have to score at least two goals if they want to reach the next round of the Europa League, while on the other side, the visitors can sit back and wait for their chances, as one goal in Bilbao’s net should secure the victory in this matchup. If Marseille finds the net, the Lions will need to score three goals to eventually secure the extra-time, so the hosts will probably take a cautious approach at the start of the game.
Considering the first leg performance, Marseille should get that one goal, so I’ll go with the over in this one, while you can check out all lines and markets for Athletic Bilbao versus Marseille clash on BetDSI Sportsbook, while they will have you covered on all Europa League matchups this Thursday.
MY PICK: Over 2.5 Goals (-115)
ADDITIONAL PICK: 2nd Half Over 1.5 Goals (+105)
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