Marseille v Salzburg background

Salzburg got the better of Marseille in this season's group stage, and will hope to repeat the trick as the teams meet again in the semi-final first leg at the Stade Vélodrome.

Salzburg's Munas Dabbur (left) and Adil Rami of Marseille in action during the group stage
Salzburg's Munas Dabbur (left) and Adil Rami of Marseille in action during the group stage ©AFP/Getty Images

The first leg of the UEFA Europa League semi-finals brings together Marseille and Salzburg for the third time in this season's competition. The Austrian club picked up four points against their French opponents in the group stage, one of them in a goalless draw at the Stade Vélodrome – the only one of eight home European fixtures this season OM have failed to win.

• Both clubs staged memorable comebacks in the quarter-finals, Marseille overturning a 1-0 first-leg deficit at Leipzig with a dramatic 5-2 victory in the south of France while Salzburg stormed to a 4-1 second-leg win over Lazio, scoring four times in the second half after they had lost the first encounter 4-2 in Rome – their first European defeat in 20 matches – and fallen a further goal behind at home.

• Runners-up to Salzburg in Group I, Marseille overcame Braga 3-1 on aggregate in the round of 32 before home (3-1) and away (2-1) wins against Athletic Club in the last 16.

• Salzburg, like Marseille, are making their first appearance in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals. They finished top of their group – for a record fourth time – before eliminating both Real Sociedad and Borussia Dortmund by a one-goal margin in the first two knockout rounds.

Highlights: Marseille 0-0 Salzburg
Highlights: Marseille 0-0 Salzburg

Previous meetings
• Marseille and Salzburg had not met in a competitive fixture until this season.

• The teams' first encounter came on matchday two, hosts Salzburg winning 1-0 thanks to a 73rd-minute strike from Israeli striker Munas Dabbur. The goalless draw in the matchday six return enabled Marseille to join already-qualified Salzburg in the round of 32 and the Austrian side to post a record-equalling fifth successive UEFA Europa League clean sheet.

• This is only Marseille's second two-legged tie against Austrian opposition, following a 1-0 aggregate win against Austria Wien in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.

• Salzburg have never previously played a team from France in a knockout tie; their previous six contests all came in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Marseille's record in six games against Austrian clubs is W2 D2 L2. At home it is W1 D2 L0; they did not concede in any of those three matches.

• Salzburg's six matches against French opponents have brought three wins, one draw and two defeats. Their away record is W1 D1 L1 with clean sheets kept on each of their last two visits, this season's goalless draw in Marseille following a 2-0 win at nearby Nice in the 2016/17 group stage – the game that started the club's 19-match unbeaten European run and in which Hwang Hee-Chan scored both goals.

Goalscorer Munas Dabbur celebrate Salzburg's group stage win against OM
Goalscorer Munas Dabbur celebrate Salzburg's group stage win against OM©Getty Images

Form guide
• Marseille have won seven of their eight European games at the Stade Vélodrome this season, the only exception that 0-0 draw against Salzburg. They have scored 21 goals (including 11 in three knockout phase encounters), conceded six and kept four clean sheets. Their last home defeat in Europe was a 1-0 loss to Athletic Club in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League round of 16.

• UEFA Cup runners-up in 1998/99 and 2003/04, and quarter-finalists in 2008/09, Marseille have reached the UEFA Europa League's last four for the first time in four attempts. Their previous campaigns ended in the round of 16 (2009/10), the group stage (2012/13) and the round of 32 (2015/16).

• Marseille have participated in five previous European semi-finals, losing the first two – against Ajax in the 1987/88 European Cup Winners' Cup (0-3 home, 2-1 away) and Benfica in the 1989/90 European Cup (2-1 home, 0-1 away) – but winning the next three – against Spartak Moskva (3-1 away, 2-1 home) in the 1990/91 European Cup, Bologna (0-0 home, 1-1 away) in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup and Newcastle United (0-0 away, 2-0 home) in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup. There were no semi-finals in 1992/93, when they won the inaugural UEFA Champions League.

• OM's home record in European semi-finals is therefore W3 D1 L1 F6 A5.

• Marseille finished fifth in last season's Ligue 1 and entered the UEFA Europa League in the third qualifying round, where they defeated Belgium's Oostende 4-2 on aggregate before getting the better of Slovenian side Domžale in the play-offs (4-1).

• Salzburg were unbeaten in 19 European matches (W11 D8) until their quarter-final first-leg defeat away to Lazio. They have lost only two of their last 15 away fixtures in UEFA competition, winning seven.

• Having come undefeated through the UEFA Europa League group stage for a record fourth time, this is Salzburg's first appearance in the semi-finals, their previous best performance having come in 2013/14 when they reached the last 16.

• Salzburg's concession of just one goal in this season's group stage equalled another UEFA Europa League record, set by Standard Liège in 2011/12, although the seven goals they scored was the lowest registered by any of the 12 group winners.

• Austrian league and cup double winners for the past four seasons, and 1994 UEFA Cup runners-up, Salzburg missed the cut in last year's UEFA Europa League group stage – after succeeding in their previous three attempts.

• Salzburg's only previous European semi-final resulted in an away-goals triumph against Karlsruhe in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup (0-0 home, 1-1 away).

Highlights: Salzburg 1-0 Marseille
Highlights: Salzburg 1-0 Marseille

Links and trivia
• Marseille and Salzburg have both played in the UEFA Cup final but never won it, OM losing 3-0 to Parma in 1999 and 2-0 to Valencia in 2004, and Salzburg going down 2-0 on aggregate (0-1 home, 0-1 away) to Internazionale in 1994.

• No French or Austrian club has ever won the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League. Salzburg are the sole previous Austrian finalist, with Bastia (1977/78) and Bordeaux (1995/96) the only teams from France other than Marseille to have gone the full distance.

• Adil Rami, a starter in Marseille's first 14 European encounters this term, won the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League with Sevilla, appearing in seven matches including the final against Liverpool.

• Luiz Gustavo is the only Marseille player to have started all of the team's 12 matches in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage and knockout phase.

• Marseille are the only former UEFA Champions League winners present in the semi-finals.

• This is the French club's 17th UEFA Europa League fixture this season. It equals the longest European campaign in OM's history – their odyssey from the UEFA Champions League qualifying phase to the UEFA Cup final in 2003/04.

Highlights: Salzburg 4-1 Lazio (Agg: 6-5)
Highlights: Salzburg 4-1 Lazio (Agg: 6-5)

• Salzburg are the only reigning domestic champions left in the competition. They are also the only semi-finalists who have never lifted a major UEFA trophy – although they did win last season's UEFA Youth League, beating Benfica in the final under Marco Rose, the club's current senior head coach.

• This is the Austrian club's 19th European match in 2017/18 – more than any other team in the semi-finals. Defender Andreas Ulmer has been on the field for every minute of a campaign that began in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League; Dabbur has also started all 18 matches.

• Austria are the 11th nation to be represented in the UEFA Europa League semi-finals.

• This season Salzburg became the first club to win their UEFA Europa League group on four occasions. Eleven others have achieved the feat three times.

• This is Salzburg's 59th UEFA Europa League match, group stage to final; only Spanish clubs Villarreal (62) and Athletic Club (61) have played more. Their tally of 30 wins is bettered only by Villarreal (33), with just Villarreal and Athletic having surpassed their total of 94 goals.

• On-loan Salzburg defender Jérôme Onguéné started his senior career in France with Sochaux; he was playing in the reserves while Marseille goalkeeper Yoann Pelé (2014–15) was in the senior side, the pair playing three first-team games together in May 2015.

• Hiroki Sakai (Marseille) and Takumi Minamino (Salzburg) are both Japanese internationals.

• Salzburg's Diadié Samassékou is available again after suspension.

Highlights: Marseille 5-2 Leipzig (5-3 agg)
Highlights: Marseille 5-2 Leipzig (5-3 agg)

The coaches
• Marseille coach since October 2016, Rudi Garcia started out as a midfielder at Lille, returning to lead the club from 2008–13 and masterminding their Ligue 1/Coupe de France double triumph in 2010/11. He subsequently spent three seasons in charge of Roma, leading the Giallorossi to back-to-back runners-up spots in Serie A.

• Previously Salzburg's youth team boss, Marco Rose stepped up to the senior helm after predecessor Óscar García left last June, having led the club to victory in the 2016/17 UEFA Youth League. A defender with home-town club Leipzig, Hannover and Mainz, he has been on Salzburg's coaching staff since 2013.