Time is fast running out for Marseille as they travel to a Lazio side who could secure progress from Group H.
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Last season's UEFA Europa League runners-up Marseille are in urgent need of a victory as they take on Lazio in Rome having been defeated 3-1 at home by the same opponents on matchday three. The Serie A side, second in Group H with six points, could book their round of 32 ticket with another victory.
• Despite taking the lead in both of their opening two fixtures, Marseille took just one point from them – a 1-2 home defeat by Eintracht Frankfurt and a 2-2 draw at Apollon Limassol – and were unable to add to their tally as they went down to Lazio at the Stade Vélodrome. Another defeat will finish off their chances of reaching the knockout phase.
• Lazio beat Apollon 2-1 at home on matchday one but had two players sent off in a 4-1 defeat in Frankfurt before reasserting themselves with that 3-1 success at Marseille thanks to goals from Wallace, Felipe Caicedo and Adam Marušić. A second victory against the Ligue 1 side would put them through if Apollon fail to win at home to group leaders Eintracht.
• Lazio, and in particular Simone Inzaghi, have happy memories of their two UEFA Champions League second group stage meetings with Marseille in 1999/2000, a 2-0 win in the south of France preceding a 5-1 victory at Rome's Stadio Olimpico. Lazio's current head coach scored four goals in the latter match, becoming only the second player to achieve that feat in the UEFA Champions League after Marco van Basten in 1992/93 – the season in which Marseille went on to defeat the Dutchman's Milan side in the inaugural final.
• Lazio have won five of their nine home games against visitors from France (D2 L2), including both UEFA Europa League group stage encounters – versus Saint-Étienne in 2015/16 (3-2) and Nice in 2016/17 (1-0).
• Marseille overcame Lazio in the semi-final of the 2005 UEFA Intertoto Cup (1-1 away, 3-0 home) but have won only once in nine away fixtures on Italian soil (D4 L4) – 1-0 at Internazionale in the quarter-final of the 2003/04 UEFA Cup. They also lost the 1991 European Cup final in the country, going down on penalties to Crvena zvezda in Bari after a 0-0 draw.
• Edged out of fourth place and into fifth in last season's Serie A by Inter on the final day, Lazio are back for a seventh venture into the UEFA Europa League, their best performances having been in 2012/13 and 2017/18, when they reached the quarter-finals.
• The Rome side have played more games in the competition than any other Italian club, this being their 60th – and 40th in the group stage. Their last five UEFA Europa League group stage participations have all been successful – after failure in the first – and they have topped their section on three of those occasions.
• Runners-up to Inter in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup, Lazio were undefeated at home in Europe last season (W4 D2) and have won ten of their last 13 continental fixtures in Rome (D2 L1). They are unbeaten in 16 UEFA Europa League group games at the Stadio Olimpico (W12 D4), winning six of the last seven.
• Marseille finished fourth in last season's Ligue 1 to claim an immediate return to the UEFA Europa League.
• This is the Cote d'Azur club's fourth UEFA Europa League group stage participation. They failed to reach the knockout phase at the first attempt, in 2012/13, but managed to do so in 2015/16 and 2017/18, going all the way in the latter to the final in Lyon, where they lost 3-0 to Atlético Madrid. They were runners-up also in the 1998/99 and 2003/04 UEFA Cups, the first of them to Italian club Parma.
• Marseille's run to last season's UEFA Europa League final featured nine away games, only one of which – against Athletic Club in the round of 16 – they won, with five ending in defeat. They last won away in the UEFA Europa League group stage on matchday six of the 2015/16 season – 4-2 at Sigma Olomouc – since when their record is D2 L2.
Links and trivia
• Marseille's Dutch midfielder Kevin Strootman played for Lazio's city rivals Roma between 2013 and 2018. He faced Lazio seven times in Serie A, earning three victories and three draws and scoring in a 2-0 win in 2016/17. Marseille boss Rudi Garcia was Strootman's coach with the Giallorossi between June 2013 and January 2016.
• Other OM players with Serie A experience are Lucas Ocampos (Genoa, Milan), Rolando (Napoli, Inter) and Adil Rami (Milan), while Lazio defender Wallace had two seasons in French football at Monaco.
• Valon Berisha (Lazio) and Duje Ćaleta-Car (Marseille) were team-mates – and three-time Austrian title-winners – at Salzburg from 2015 to 2018. Ćaleta-Car and fellow Croatian Milan Badelj are international team-mates, as are Lazio’s Lucas Leiva and Marseille’s Luiz Gustavo (Brazil) and Sergej Milinković-Savić and Nemanja Radonjić (Serbia).
• Lazio need two more goals to become only the fourth club to score a century in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final.
• Lazio boss since April 2016, when he replaced Stefano Pioli, Simone Inzaghi represented the club as a forward between 1999 and 2010, winning the Italian double in his debut season and the Coppa Italia twice more in later years. The younger brother of fellow ex-Italian international Filippo Inzaghi, with whom he played at home-town outfit Piacenza, he began coaching Lazio's youth teams immediately after hanging up his boots. His first trophy as coach was the 2017 Italian Super Cup.
• Marseille coach since October 2016, Rudi Garcia started out as a midfielder at LOSC Lille, returning to coach the club between 2008 and 2013 and masterminding their Ligue 1/Coupe de France double in 2010/11. He subsequently spent two and a half seasons in charge of Roma, leading the Giallorossi to back-to-back runners-up spots in Serie A. In 2017/18 he steered OM from the third qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League all the way to the final in Lyon, where they were defeated by Atlético Madrid.