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 By Ian Holyman

Marseille hopeful Dimitri Payet will return for Europa League final

While Marseille's stars may be in scintillating form, the ESPN FC panel are still favouring Atletico Madrid to win the Europa League.
Dimitri Payet urged Marseille to stay focused ahead of the Europa League second leg against Salzburg despite a 2-0 win on Thursday night.
The ESPN FC panel share their thoughts on Marseille's controversial opener and discuss Salzburg's chances of mounting a second-leg comeback.

Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud is hopeful captain Dimitri Payet will be fit for Wednesday's Europa League final against Atletico Madrid.

Payet, 31, was a late withdrawal from the Marseille squad that drew 3-3 with Guingamp in Friday's Ligue 1 game, raising fears he could miss the final.

Speaking on RMC on Monday, Eyraud delivered an upbeat message to the club's fans concerned the France international, who has been in sensational form in 2018, will not be fit to play.

"We all hope he'll be there. He has a little problem, he's getting treatment," Eyraud said. "He's still a doubt, but we have good hope."

Payet has been a central figure in Marseille reaching their first European final since 2004.

Along with Florian Thauvin, he has also orchestrated their push for a top-three finish in Ligue 1 that would bring with it Champions League football next season, a challenge that faltered in his absence on Friday.

"I had a little scare," Payet told Telefoot on Sunday. "So as not to aggravate it, I preferred to sit out. Now, I'm getting treatment and trying to get back into shape for Wednesday. It's not something banal. I'll have to be careful."

He added: "I have to be optimistic."

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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