Les Olympiens take aim at history in sold-out Velodrome

12 apr 2018
Photos © 
More than 60,000 supporters expected in the Orange Velodrome for historic Europa League clash against RB Leipzig.

Olympique de Marseille’s case of European football will be tried in a court of competition on Thursday night at the Orange Velodrome in Marseille. Les Olympiens enter their historic home ground with judgement hanging in the balance, down a goal on aggregate to the visiting RB Leipzig of the German Bundesliga.

With a completely sold-out Velodrome and millions more globally serving as witness, and just 90 minutes to decide the outcome - it will be an unforgettable night. The pressure is at a fever pitch, with OM on the brink of qualifying as one of four remaining clubs in pursuit of the trophy — matching the club’s European mark for the first time since 2004, before dramatically defeating Newcastle en route to the final.

"We must do our best in a full stadium to qualify for the European semi-finals,” Rudi Garcia prefaced the midweek match. “That’s a rare accomplishment in France"

In search of goals at home, the onus will be laid squarely at the boots of Marseille’s strike force. The return of Florian Thauvin from injury will enhance the attack — including Kostas Mitroglou, Lucas Ocampos, Valere Germain and Dimitri Payet.

Potency is no issue — all in all, Les Olympiens are averaging more than a goal per match and more than 12.5 attempts per match.

"In Leipzig, we had opportunities but we were unlucky. We will play to win,” Mitroglou said. "I love playing this type of meeting with an electric atmosphere. I am ready. I'm 100%.

"For me the most important thing is to score goals. I am not trying to be the hero. We play in a collective sport, and it's the collective that takes precedence."