Marseille v RB Leipzig: Lightning-fast Leipzig to punish hosts

RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl
Ralph Hasenhuttl may well be drinking to Leipzig's progress on Thursday
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Marseille and Leipzig played out an entertaining first leg which the German side edged 1-0, and Kevin Hatchard believes RBL will pick up another good result in the south of France...

"Leipzig have shown again and again that they are a threat on the counter-attack away from home, and I believe they'll score at least one away goal."

Back RB Leipzig Draw No Bet at [2.28]

Marseille v RB Leipzig
Thursday 12 April, 20:05 BST
Live on BT Sport

Marseille still alive after rearguard action

Marseille were missing some key players going into the first leg, and even though they lost 1-0 thanks to an excellent Timo Werner goal, they competed superbly. Luiz Gustavo, who spent a decade playing in Germany with Hoffenheim and Wolfsburg, played as an emergency centre-back as if he'd been doing it for his entire career. Alongside him, teenager Boubacar Kamara added to his burgeoning reputation.

However, the big flaw in the display was the failure to make the most of several good opportunities. Bouna Sarr struck the crossbar, and there were presentable chances for Lucas Ocampos and Dimitri Payet. Given that Leipzig scored three goals in a win at Napoli in the round-of-32, and drew 1-1 at Zenit in the last 16, one wonders whether Marseille's failure to grab an away goal will cost them dearly. A potentially costly goalless draw at home to Montpellier at the weekend has done little to lift the spirits, although a passionate crowd will do its best at the Stade Velodrome on Thursday night.

Electric forward Florian Thauvin is still struggling with injury, as is centre-back Rolando. Keeper Steeve Mandanda and defender Adil Rami are definitely out.

Leipzig keen to prove that Monday mauling was a blip

Although Leipzig's season has been largely successful, Monday's 4-1 hammering at home by Bayer Leverkusen was a badly-timed remainder that they do now and again throw in a shocker. RBL gave away some bad goals, and although they led 1-0 at one stage and had chances to double that advantage, anything other than a defeat would have flattered them.

One thing you have to praise this young Leipzig side for is their ability to bounce back from setbacks, and learn from them quickly. They have also stepped up to the challenge away from home in Europe. They won in Naples, drew in St Petersburg, and in the Champions League they thrashed Monaco at the Stade Louis II.

Midfield dynamo Naby Keita is an injury doubt after he picked up a heavy knock on Monday night, but skipper Willi Orban is available to line up at centre-back after he was suspended for the first leg. On-loan Everton winger Ademola Lookman is ineligible.

Leipzig's counter-attacking style could be key to victory

Leipzig are at their most dangerous when they are speeding forward on the break after winning the ball from the opposition. Marseille have to play on the front foot, and they have won just one of their last four games at the Velodrome, and I can see them being caught on the counter in the same way that Napoli and Zenit were.

I felt immediately after the first leg that Marseille's failure to score an away goal would cost them, and I still do. Although they'll get raucous home support, I think Marseille will concede, so I'll back the visitors Draw No Bet at [2.28].

Bruma and Werner attractively priced to find the net

Timo Werner scored the only goal of this tie so far, and he has scored seven goals in 13 European games this season. He tends to be at the sharp end of Leipzig's counter-attacks, so I suspect he'll have at least one or two scoring opportunities. He's attractively priced at [2.58].

Bruma is also worth considering at a hefty [4.5]. He scored at Napoli and at home to Zenit, and is a real threat with his searing pace and powerful shooting.

Kevin Hatchard 2017-18 Europa League P/L

+0.67 points

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