On Thursday night, a team in need of a lift, Marseille, hosts Shakhtar Donetsk at the Stade Velodrome in the Europa League knockout round play-offs second leg.
The first leg of this tie finished in an entertaining 2-2 draw. Therefore, it's all to play for in France in this second leg.Marseille looking to end winless streak
A 1-0 weekend defeat at Brest last time out means that OM are now seven competitive games without a victory.
The game followed a low-scoring pattern for Marseille’s recent games, as seven of their last nine matches have produced under 2.5 goals.
Marseille have found wins hard to come by in the Europa League of late, as they have won just four of their previous 20 games. However, three of those wins came in the group stage of this season’s competition.
OM have also been strong on home soil in the Europa League recently, as they are unbeaten in six home games, having won three of their last four matches.Shakhtar is also looking for a winning return
Like their hosts, Shakhtar are looking to return to positive form after just one win in their last five games. However, most of those games were friendly outings. The first leg was Shakhtar’s first competitive game after the break in their domestic league.
The Ukrainian team is now three games without a win in the Europa League. However, two of those games were in last season’s competition. The first leg was Shakhtar’s first Europa League game of the season after dropping out of the Champions League.
The visitors have not found winning away from home easy in the Europa League recently, as they have won just once in their last five games on their travels in the competition.What am I backing?
Neither team has been in great form of late. I expect a relatively close game, but I am backing the home win simply due to OM’s recent strong home record.