Bayern Munich made a giant step towards a place in the Champions League semi-finals with a 2-0 victory at Velodrome, and Marseille clearly face a mountain to climb in the return leg.
Following some pretty solid showings in the first part of the season, the Bavarians experienced some problems after the winter break, and defeats to Bayer Leverkusen and Basel threatened to turn their season into a major disappointment.
However, Jupp Heynckes’ side quickly recovered from several under-par results, with the three-match winning run during which Bayern scored exactly 20 goals helping the team return to the right track.
The Bavarians not only staked their claim for the Champions League title with an impressive victory at Velodrome, but they managed to close the gap behind Borussia to just three points in Bundesliga, and they are now 2.25 (5/4) with BetVictor to win the league title.
Key midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger will be allowed to rest as he is suspended for the Marseille game, whereas Daniel van Buyten and Breno remain sidelined.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Neuer – Lahm, Boateng, Badstuber, Alaba – Kroos, Gustavo – Robben, Muller, Ribery – Gomez.
Marseille chiefs declared big ambitions before the season started as they planned an assault on the Ligue 1 title and expected some success in Europe as well, but things haven’t gone as planned.
While OM have shown some potential in Europe, they were very lucky to go this far and are now bound to crash out to in-form Bayern side.
Their league campaign, on the other hand, has been an utter disappointment, seeing that Didier Deschamps’ side currently occupy 9th place in the standings, with no real chances to fight for European places.
Taking also into account that Marseille lost eight of last nine games in all competitions, not even odds of 67.00 (66/1) offered by Betfair on OM to qualify look worth taking.
Souleymane Diawara continues to miss out, but Andre Ayew will keep playing through the pain as he carries a shoulder injury. Steve Mandanda returns to the side after missing the first leg through suspension.
Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Mandanda – Azpilicueta, Fanni, N’Koulou, Morel – Diarra, M’Bia – Amalfitano, Valbuena, A. Ayew – Remy.