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Sep 30, 2021 at 8pm UK

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Preview: Marseille vs. Galatasaray - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Marseille vs. Galatasaray - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Europa League clash between Marseille and Galatasaray, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Marseille will aim to recover from some minor blips in form when they host Galatasaray in Europa League Group E on Thursday night.

Jorge Sampaoli's side played out a 1-1 draw with Lokomotiv Moscow on the opening day, while their Turkish counterparts came out on top against Lazio.

Match preview

A classic peach of a free kick from Dimitri Payet made some of the headlines on Sunday evening, but an expected goal-fest between Marseille and Lens did not go in Les Olympiens' favour, as their talisman's efforts were in vain during a 3-2 loss.

The former West Ham United man also netted a penalty on the stroke of half time after Lens duo Florian Sotoca and Przemyslaw Frankowski had put the visitors 2-0 to the good, but Lens substitute Wesley Said headed home with 20 minutes remaining to condemn Marseille to their first loss of the new season.

Now only able to boast one win from their last four in all competitions, Marseille's Europa League campaign also started in somewhat underwhelming fashion with a 1-1 draw at Lokomotiv Moscow, as Cengiz Under's penalty was cancelled out by Chelsea loanee Tino Anjorin in the 89th minute.

Sampaoli's side must also take on reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille before the international break before facing Lorient, Lazio, Paris Saint-Germain and Nice before the end of October, so the importance of finding their stride in continental competition this week cannot be understated.

Defeat to Lens ended an 11-game unbeaten run at the Orange Velodrome for Marseille, who have not failed to score at least twice in a home game so far this season, but their three home fixtures in the 2018-19 Europa League all ended in defeat.

While many expected Lazio to travel back home to Rome with all three points in the bag two weeks ago, Galatasaray had other ideas, as the Turkish powerhouses claimed a memorable 1-0 win over Maurizio Sarri's men on home soil.

Thomas Strakosha's unfortunate own goal in the second 45 minutes was all that could separate the two sides on the day, but Fatih Terim's side could not follow that up with domestic improvements, losing their next two Super Lig games before playing host to Goztepe on Sunday.

Galatasaray once again appeared to be heading for defeat when Cherif Ndiaye struck the opener just before half time, but Halil Dervisoglu and Olimpiu Morutan both netted eye-catching goals to steer their side to only a second win from six games in all tournaments.

However, Terim's side have now gone winless in their last four away matches and have been nothing short of abysmal on the road in Europe in years gone by, losing 15 and drawing four of their last 19 away group-stage games in the Europa League or Champions League.

Thursday will mark the first time that Marseille and Galatasaray have locked horns in any competition, but the French side know what it takes to get the better of Super Lig outfits, winning four of their five such fixtures on home soil.

Marseille Europa League form:
  • D

Marseille form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L

Galatasaray Europa League form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Galatasaray form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Team News

Marseille's main man Payet returned from injury with a bang against Lens, but Sampaoli may be reluctant to start him twice in quick succession, especially with the trip to Lille to contend with as well.

Amine Harit and Konrad de la Fuente will therefore hope to benefit from some Sampaoli rotation, but Arkadiusz Milik is still struggling with a knee injury and Boubacar Kamara is nursing a thigh problem.

The hosting manager should also ponder some defensive changes after shipping three to Lens, with Alvaro Gonzalez and Pol Lirola both holding out for recalls on Thursday.

Galatasaray have much more to worry about on the injury front, with Sacha Boey, Omar Elabdellaoui, Baris Yilmaz and Arda Turan all occupying spots in the treatment room.

Marcao is available for European fixtures despite a domestic suspension and played the full 90 minutes in the 1-0 win over Lazio, so the defender should partner Victor Nelsson in the rearguard once more.

Taylan Antalyali was not involved in the squad to face Goztepe at the weekend, but the midfielder is only believed to have been rested and should be fine this week.

Marseille possible starting lineup:
Lopez; Gonzalez, Balerdi, Caleta-Car; Lirola, Guendouzi, Gerson, De la Fuente; Under, Harit; Dieng

Galatasaray possible starting lineup:
Muslera; Yedlin, Marcao, Nelsson, Van Aanholt; Antalyali, Kutlu; Morutan, Cicaldau, Akturkoglu; Dervisoglu

We say: Marseille 2-1 Galatasaray

Galatasaray just cannot seem to get over the line away from home in Europe, and Marseille hardly need any lessons in finding the back of the net on home soil.

The hosting manager has bountiful options for change in all areas and will be desperate to pick up a morale-boosting win before the trip to Lille, so we are backing Les Olympiens to shade a close contest.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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