Thursday 21 February 2019

Rose looking for 'special' display against Marseille

Europa League semi-final first leg: Marseille v Red Bull Salzburg, Live BT Sport/Eir Sport (KO 8.05)

Red Bull Salzburg head coach Marco Rose
Red Bull Salzburg head coach Marco Rose

Red Bull Salzburg head coach Marco Rose believes his team will require "a special performance" in tonight's Europa League semi-final, first leg clash against Marseille.

The runaway Austrian league leaders have enjoyed a tournament to savour, knocking out Lazio at the quarter-final stage and beating Marseille during the pool phase.

They also gained a 0-0 draw at Stade Velodrome, venue for the first leg, and have maintained impressive domestic form by remaining on course for a league and cup double.

Both teams are first-time Europa League semi-finalists, with Arsenal or Atletico Madrid awaiting the victors in next month's final.

"We have to compete in the first leg in front of 60,000 passionate fans," Rose said.

"We need a special performance for that, as Olympique (Marseille) don't only have top players in their squad, but they have also developed extremely well as a team recently. The two group stage matches against them feels long ago already, and things have changed at both teams since then."

Striker Munas Dabbur added: "We have come this far, so of course we want to take the next step to the final.

"We face really strong opponents, though, who have become even more dangerous in recent weeks. We have another really big challenge ahead that we want to take on with everything we have."

Marseille warmed up for the Salzburg encounter by keeping alive their Champions League qualification hopes with a 5-1 Ligue 1 victory over Lille, although they are now without Japan international Hiroki Sakai, who suffered a knee injury in that game.

"Hiroki could have some ligaments affected," Marseille manager Rudi Garcia said.

"It will be difficult to get him back quickly. We will focus on Salzburg and study the opponent thoroughly."

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