The UEFA Europa League welcomes two new quarter-finalists in Leipzig and Marseille, who are both seeking to become the first winners of the competition from their respective countries.

• Leipzig, who finished third in their UEFA Champions League group, have enjoyed an impressive run in the UEFA Europa League, eliminating Napoli on away goals in the round of 32 before edging past another former UEFA Cup winner, Zenit, 3-2 on aggregate in the round of 16.

• Runners-up to Salzburg in the group stage, Marseille overcame Braga 3-1 on aggregate in the round of 32 before home (3-1) and away (2-1) wins against UEFA Europa League regulars Athletic Club in the last 16, Lucas Ocampos scoring three goals and captain Dimitri Payet the other two.


Highlights: Zenit 1-1 Leipzig (2-3 agg)

Previous meetings
• The clubs have never met in UEFA competition, although Marseille have faced another team from the same city, defeating Lokomotive Leipzig (then representing East Germany) 1-0 on aggregate (0-0 away, 1-0 home) in the 1987/88 European Cup Winners’ Cup.

• Leipzig’s European debut came on home soil against French visitors – a 1-1 draw against Monaco on matchday one of this season’s UEFA Champions League. The German club overwhelmed the 2016/17 semi-finalists in the matchday five return, a 4-1 win at the Stade Louis II that featured two goals from German international striker Timo Werner and ensured Leipzig would finish above their hosts in Group G.

• Marseille have lost eight of their 16 matches against German opposition, winning five. They have been victorious just once away, coming from two goals down to defeat Borussia Dortmund 3-2 at the Westfalen Stadion in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage, and lost five. However, it was on German soil that the French club celebrated their most significant victory when they defeated AC Milan 1-0 in Munich on 29 May 1993 to win the inaugural UEFA Champions League.

• OM have been defeated without scoring on each of their last three visits to Germany, going down 2-0 to Bayern München in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg (after a 0-2 loss at home), 2-0 to Borussia Mönchengladbach in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League group stage and 3-0 at Dortmund in their 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group.

Highlights: Athletic 1-2 Marseille (2-5 agg)


Highlights: Athletic 1-2 Marseille (2-5 agg)

Form guide
• Leipzig have won two of their five European home games (D1 L2) and conceded at least once in each of them – eight goals in all. Indeed, they have yet to keep a clean sheet in any of their ten European matches, home and away, conceding 16 goals in total.

• Leipzig gained automatic entry into the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League after finishing runners-up to Bundesliga champions Bayern at the end of their debut season in Germany’s top flight. They are the only club to have played their first European fixture in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Marseille’s 2-1 win in Bilbao last time out ended a run of seven away fixtures in Europe without a victory (D4 L3). They had scored just three goals over that period, conceding six.

• 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 eight for the first time at the fourth attempt.

• Marseille lost both legs of their two most recent European quarter-finals, going down 0-2 away and 1-2 at home to Shakhtar Donetsk in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup prior to that 2011/12 UEFA Champions League reverse against Bayern. However, the first five of their seven European quarter-final ties all ended in victory, most recently against Internazionale in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup (1-0 home, 1-0 away).

• 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).

First-leg highlights: Leipzig 2-1 Zenit


First-leg highlights: Leipzig 2-1 Zenit

Links and trivia
• No German or French club has ever reached the UEFA Europa League final. There has only ever been one semi-finalist from each country – Hamburg in 2009/10 and Lyon in 2016/17 respectively.

• Leipzig are the only one of the eight teams remaining in the competition who have never previously appeared in a UEFA competition final.

• Leipzig became the 204th club to compete in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final – and a record 17th from Germany – when they transferred over from the UEFA Champions League in the winter.

• Goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi has played every minute of Leipzig’s ten European games.

• Werner has scored six goals in Leipzig’s last seven European fixtures – the first five in away fixtures before he broke his home duck in the 2-1 win against Zenit.

• Werner scored past Steve Mandanda in Germany’s 2-2 friendly draw against France in Cologne last November.

• In the European Qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Emil Forsberg scored the opener for Sweden in France before Dimitri Payet grabbed France’s winner in a 2-1 victory. In the return fixture, Forsberg’s Sweden reversed that 2-1 scoreline against Payet’s France.

• There are three Frenchmen in the Leipzig squad: Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konaté and Jean-Kévin Augustin.

• Upamecano and Marseille’s Maxime Lopez are current team-mates for the French national Under-21 side, while Bruma (Leipzig) and Rolando (Marseille) are both full Portuguese internationals.

• Marseille trio Hiroki Sakai (Hannover), Aymen Abdennour (Werder Bremen) and Luiz Gustavo (Hoffenheim, Bayern München, Wolfsburg) have all played for German Bundesliga clubs.

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

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

• This is the French club’s 15th UEFA Europa League encounter this season, the most of any of the competition’s remaining participants. It is the second longest European campaign in OM’s history – after the 17-match odyssey that transported them from the UEFA Champions League qualifying phase to the UEFA Cup final in 2003/04.

• Leipzig’s Willi Orban is suspended for this first leg.

• Suspended for next match if booked: Marcel Sabitzer, Yussuf Poulsen, Jean-Kévin Augustin, Diego Demme (Leipzig); Lucas Ocampos, Jordan Amavi, Maxime Lopez, Adil Rami (Marseille).

The coaches
• Former Austrian international striker Ralph Hasenhüttl was appointed as RB Leipzig coach following their promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016, and he hit the ground running, remaining unbeaten in his first 13 league games en route to guiding the club to a runners-up spot in their debut top-flight campaign. His previous coaching posts have all been in Germany – at Unterhaching, Aalen and Ingolstadt.

• 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.


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