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Marseille v Shakhtar Donetsk: Tips, Predictions and Odds

Gutsy Ukrainians Shakhtar Donetsk twice came from behind to draw 2-2 with Marseille in neutral Hamburg and that never-say-die spirit will serve them well at the Velodrome in the return leg of their Europa League play-off round tie on Thursday.

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Marseille v Shakhtar Donetsk tips and predictions

Draw or Shakhtar Donetsk Double Chance - 21/20

Playing a fixture in a city other than Donetsk won’t perturb Shakhtar, who have to fancy their chances of pipping Marseille in the second leg of their Europa League play-off round tie.

Shakhtar played all six Champions League group-stage matches ‘away’ because of the situation in Ukraine and collected a creditable nine points courtesy of two ‘home’ wins against Antwerp and Barcelona in Hamburg and a 3-2 win at the home of the former in Belgium.

They have remained in Hamburg for their next European adventure and put on a strong showing to draw 2-2 with Marseille there last Thursday.

They twice trailed in that game, but only for seven minutes in total, with a pair of brisk equalisers ultimately earning them a 2-2 draw.

That was their first competitive match for two months, with the resumption of the Ukrainian Premier League from its winter break not slated until this weekend, so Marino Pusic’s men had to be happy with the outcome.

And they look to be taking on Marseille at a perfect time, with the French club in turmoil on the pitch and little better off it after head coach Gennaro Gattuso was shown the door on Monday.

Gattuso’s replacement is Jean-Louis Gasset, who was sacked as head coach of Ivory Coast after a dismal group stage at the Africa Cup of Nations. Two weeks later, and in his absence, they won the tournament.

The 70-year-old former Montpellier midfielder and coach takes over a side who haven’t won in seven, with Sunday’s abject 1-0 loss at 10-man Brest leaving them in ninth place in Ligue 1.

Key central defender Leo Balerdi is suspended and there is a major doubt over first-choice keeper Pau Lopez, who has a calf problem.

Late goal after 76:59 - 5/6

The first leg of this tie came to life in the second half with all four goals coming in the last half hour.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s 64th-minute opener was cancelled out four minutes later by Mykola Matviyenko.

And just when Iliman Ndiaye thought he’d nicked the win for OM as the clock ticked down for normal time, Shakhtar went up the other end and squared the match once more, this time through Eguinaldo.

Obviously the stakes get higher the longer the game goes on and, with Shakhtar arguably not quite up to competitive speed after their break and Marseille missing key players and not playing well, late drama is on the cards.

There were 24 goals in Marseille’s six Europa League group-stage matches, 22 in Shakhtar’s six Champions League group-stage fixtures, so these two teams can get involved in high-scoring affairs.

Marseille Over 5.5 Corners @ 1/1

There were 10 corners in the first leg in Hamburg and there is every likelihood that number will be matched or eclipsed at the Stade Velodrome.

Something’s got to give with the score at 2-2 and the stats say there will be plenty of corners.

Marseille average 5.8 corners at home in Ligue 1 with their domestic games averaging 10.2 corners in total. They won seven of the 10 corners in Hamburg last week and the 1/1 price on them managing over 5.5 in the return leg looks a sensible option.

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Marseille v Shakhtar Donetsk odds

Marseille - 8/11
Draw -
14/5
Shakhtar Donetsk -
15/4

View the full market and more odds for Marseille v Shakhtar Donetsk on site

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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