Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sport | By Victor Mcdonald

Garcia determined to help Marseille win 2nd European trophy

Garcia determined to help Marseille win 2nd European trophy

Antoine Griezmann's uncertain future has threatened to overshadow Atletico Madrid's preparations for the Europa League final and all eyes will be on the forward when his side take on Marseille today.

Only once since returning to the top flight have Marseille lifted the Ligue 1 trophy - a dominant Lyon team and well-backed PSG have swept up most of the French titles in the modern era - and a Didier Drogba-inspired run to the 2004 UEFA Cup Final has represented their best showing in Europe.

Simeone's side are now sitting in second place on the LaLiga table and require just a single point on the final day to claim the position and finish above city rivals, Real Madrid.

However, Coach Diego Simeone has warned his players not to underrate their opponents.

Atletico will face French club Marseille in the final to be held at the Groupama Stadium in Lyon, with kick-off set for 20:45 SA time. Furthermore, if we ignore all-Spanish finals, then dating back to the 2002 Champions League final Spanish teams have won 10 of the 12 European finals they've contested with seven wins by at least two clear goals.

Griezmann has once again been a key player for Atletico in all competitions this season, scoring 27 in 47 appearances as they also look to secure second in La Liga. I know he'll always ask the best of me, the maximum, and I'll always be there to help him and to win matches.

"This team has the character and personality needed to win", Atletico midfielder Gabi Fernandez said.

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They forced their way into the side via the long Europa League campaign - this will be Marseille's 19th European game of the season and 62nd overall.

Atletico Madrid had former Chelsea striker Diego Costa to thank for getting them to their third Europa League final, as the Spainard scored the decisive victor in first half stoppage time against Arsenal.

Given the power and intensity Atletico base much of their game on, Gustavo will be integral to Marseille's resistance.

"This year we're celebrating the 25th anniversary of being the first French side to win the Champions League", Garcia said in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

Back in September when Rudi Garcia's side took on Konyaspor in their first Europa League game, only 8,649 fans were in attendance at the Stade Velodrome.

Simeone was given a four-game touchline ban from UEF after angrily confronting an official during the first leg of Atletico's Europa League semi-final matchup against Arsenal. They came into the competition from the Champions League and we came through the Europa League playoffs.

No team has been shown more yellow cards (30) or red cards (3) than Marseille in this season's Europa League.

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