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Europa League final: Atletico mindful of painful finals ahead of Marseille showdown

17 May 2018

While Madrid boasts big-name forwards in Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa, not to mention Fernando Torres and Kevin Gameiro on the bench, Marseille does not have a recognized top-class striker.

Belying their status as underdogs, Mrseille started pretty well and could have taken the lead in the opening few minutes via former Newcastle midfielder Florian Thauvin.

Atletico Madrid eliminated Arsenal in the semifinal.

"I'm in form. When you feel at your best physically, at 100 per cent on the pitch, you can express yourself more freely and naturally", Payet said on Tuesday. The final for the port city club is a glamor clash and there is a general feeling at there that given the pedigree of Atletico, they go into the game with nothing to lose.

"We have the chance to play at home - in our country - with a national fervour".

PREDICTION The first of two upcoming European club finals takes place this evening as Atletico Madrid take on Marseille for the right to be called Europa League winners for 2018.

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The game, at Lyon's Groupama Stadium, will be Marseille's first European final since 2003-04 when a side featuring Fabien Barthez and Didier Drogba finished runners-up to Valencia in the UEFA Cup. It's about adaptation, and believe me, adaptation is very hard, especially when you play in the UK.

"Griezmann and Simeone are not going to leave", Cerezo said after appearing on Onda Cero's El Transistor programme. "The winning and losing experiences we had in the past will help. We know each other for a lifetime, we have similar feelings and understanding of football".

"We'll be excited, up for it, but also tense. We're also strong on free kicks". He played the role of talisman expertly in the semi-finals against Arsenal, scoring a late equaliser to secure 10-man Atletico a 1-1 draw at the Emirates before setting up the only goal in the return leg at the Wanda Metropoitano. Simeone was charged with insulting a match official and improper conduct. His assistant German Burgos will be taking charge of the side. Moreover, none of those finals saw as big a difference between the two sides as we have here.

"Griezmann's future depends on what happens on Wednesday I think, what he wants is to win trophies and I was sad when I heard about the news about him", club captain Gabi Fernandez told Spanish radio on Monday.

Diego Simeone will be looking to win his second Europa League trophy but will have to look on from the stands as he is still serving his touch line ban.

Europa League final: Atletico mindful of painful finals ahead of Marseille showdown