Marseille vs Villarreal Prediction: French giants can sink Yellow Submarine

 | March 06 | 

3 mins read

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Marseille’s crazy season continues in the Europa League last 16 as they host Villarreal at the Stade Vélodrome (20:00, TNT Sports 5). Having sacked Gennaro Gattuso, the French giants hired Jean-Louis Gasset, the man who was sacked as Ivory Coast boss midway through the Africa Cup of Nations. 

The host nation remarkably went on to win the entire tournament, leaving Gasset’s reputation slightly dented after a poor group stage. However, since his appointment at Marseille, the club have won three from three and now they have a great chance to progress in the Europa League. 

Here’s our Marseille vs Villarreal prediction, including two betting tips, team news and match odds. 

Marseille vs Villarreal Tips

  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score anytime @ 6/5
  • Marseille to score over 3.5 goals @ 8/1

Team News

Marseille’s midfield duo Jordan Veretout and Valentin Rongier are both out for this one, while Samuel Gigot may also be absent with a shoulder issue. Aside from that, Gasset has a fully-fit squad to choose from and should be able to name a front three of Ismaila Sarr, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Iliman Ndiaye.

Meanwhile, Villarreal’s squad have been struck down with an illness as Santi Comesana, Aissa Mandi, Eric Bailly and Filip Jorgensen are all struggling with a virus. With Yeremy Pino, Juan Foyth, Denis Suarez and Raul Albiol all out injured and Alfonso Pedraza a doubt, manager Marcelino is down to the bare bones. Jorge Cuenca is available again after suspension, but it will be a tough test for Villarreal given the players they have available. 

Match Odds

Marseille are priced at 19/20 to win this game, while Villarreal are priced at 11/4. A draw is available at 13/5, over 2.5 goals is 8/11 and BTTS is 4/6.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to score anytime @ 6/5

Marseille’s revival over the last few weeks has been seriously impressive. They’ve won three from three under the new manager, and scored a bucketload of goals in the process. Their front three of Ndiaye, Sarr and Aubameyang is one of the most talented trios the Europa League has to offer and now the former Arsenal striker has found his shooting boots once again.

He’s scored four goals in three matches under Gasset, is the club’s designated penalty taker and is now the top Europa League goalscorer of all time, with his strike against Shakhtar Donetsk taking him to 31, above Radamal Falcao. Amine Harit is the creative force in this team, and he’s created the most open-play chances in the Europa League this season. 

With Auba on fire against a weakened Villarreal defence, I expect him to get on the scoresheet. But the goalscoring shouldn’t stop there…

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Marseille to score over 3.5 goals @ 8/1

I think there is decent value in backing Marseille to take Villarreal to the cleaners. They have now scored three, four and five goals in their last three games, and seem to be getting better and better with every game that Gasset takes charge of. Sometimes these first-leg games can be tight, but I’m expecting the French side to come out firing on all cylinders in a bid to put the tie to bed early on. 

Villarreal have conceded in each of their last four games and sit 12th in La Liga, so they are certainly a side that can get beaten. Combined with the Spanish sides’ illnesses and injuries, Marseille’s ferocious front three and goals coming from all over the pitch, this could be a phenomenal night for the French giants. 8/1 feels like a big price for Marseille to score four or more. 

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Check out our other Football Betting Tips here. 

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