French side Marseille and Greek football team PAOK will square up this Thursday in the first leg of the UEFA Europa Conference league quarte-final.
Venue: Stade Vélodrome (Marseille)
Marseille have not kept a clean sheet at the Stade Vélodrome in any competition since December (W6, D2, L2).
The hosts have won their last five games, scoring 14 goals and conceding six in that period.
PAOK have kept four clean sheets from their last six games (W5, L1).
The visitors have gone unbeaten in five of their last seven away outings across all competitions though (W3, D2, L2).
Three of PAOK’s previous four UECL away games have seen the opener scored in either the 19th or 20th minute.
Head to head
This is the first competitive meeting between both sides in this century.
Latest performances in all competitions
Marseille will look to continue their remarkable run of form when they welcome the Greek side PAOK to Stade Vélodrome this Thursday.
Jorge Sampaoli’s team currently sit second in the Ligue 1 standings 12 points behind PSG after 30 rounds of football and come into this encounter on a run of five consecutive victories in all competitions.
They beat Basel 4-2 on aggregate to make an appearance in the quarter-final of the Europa Conference League, and heading into this encounter, Jorge Sampaoli’s team are favourites to come out on top over two legs against their Greek opponents.
With 14 goals scored in their last five games, Marseille can rightfully come into this game full of confidence to meet little or no resistance from their opponents. However, head coach Jorge Sampaoli will be wary of the threat PAOK poses, as the Greek team spectacularly beat Gent home and away to claim a spot in the quarter-finals.
Jorge Sampaoli has built a great team with some good piece of recruitment, most notably the acquisition of William Saliba from Arsenal. The Frenchman has been a Colossus at the back for Marseille and will be once more charged with keeping the Greeks at bay when the two sides meet.
Marseille have no injury concerns and enter this game with a full team.
Possible Marseille starting line-up
Pau Lopez; Valentin Rongier, William Saliba, Duje Caleta-Car, Saed Kolasinac; Matteo Guendouzi, Boubacar Kamara; Gerson, Dimitri Payet, Amine Harit; Cengiz Under.
Injured: Leonardo Balerdi, Arkadiusz Milik, Konard de la Fuente
PAOK will be looking to build on their 4-2 defeat of Gent in the knockout round when they take on Marseille.
The Greek Giants produced impressive victories over two legs to stun the Belgians. But they come into this game off the back of a 2-1 loss to Panathinaikos in round 3 of the Greek Super Lig early this week.
The loss was their first in the Greek Super League this season and they currently sit second in the pecking order.
The Thessaloniki based club are yet to taste continental success and will be more motivated to break their duck and secure unprecedented success on the international stage for any Greek side.
POAK come up against a well-drilled Marseille side and face a mountain climb as they seek to make history.
Razvan Lucescu’s side will come into this game with a measure of hope. Having beaten Gent, they will be in high spirits as they lock horns with their more Fancied opponents.
Possible PAOK starting line-up
Alexandros Paschalakis; Joan Sastre, Fernando Varela, Sverrir Ingason, Chuba Akpom; Jasmin Kurtic, Theocharis Tsiggaras; Leo Jaba, Omar El Kaddouri, Vieirinha; Andrija Zivkovic.
Injured: Nelson Oliveira
Marseille 1-0 PAOK