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Marseille aim to clear Olympiacos hurdle

Published: Tuesday 22 November 2011, 19.58CET
Olympique de Marseille know a home draw with Olympiacos FC could end up taking them through but Didier Deschamps is making no calculations and is wary of a side that must get three points.
by Sébastien Blanchard
from Marseille
Marseille aim to clear Olympiacos hurdle
Didier Deschamps contemplates Marseille's task ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 22 November 2011, 19.58CET

Marseille aim to clear Olympiacos hurdle

Olympique de Marseille know a home draw with Olympiacos FC could end up taking them through but Didier Deschamps is making no calculations and is wary of a side that must get three points.

If Olympique de Marseille pick up more UEFA Champions League Group F points at home to Olympiacos FC than Borussia Dortmund manage at Arsenal FC, the French side team are through. But Didier Deschamps is not doing any calculations against a side who must win at all costs, and the hosts' coach is wary of a team Marseille beat 1-0 away on matchday one.

Marseille
Coach Didier Deschamps

This game will be very different compared with the first game. We are going to play against a team unbeaten in the Greek league. At the time of the first match, they had not played a single competitive game. Physically I think they will not have the problems they had back then.

All our energy is focused on this game against Olympiacos. We are getting ready, we will play for the three points because we want to play Champions League football in February. We are going to play for the win and not make any calculations. We know that we do not necessarily need to win, it will depend on the result at Arsenal as well. I will be kept informed but we are going to play for victory, without any calculations. We are going to try and bounce back after Saturday's defeat in Montpellier, and we have the great chance of this European game to do so.

Weekend result
Saturday: Montpellier Hérault SC 1-0 Marseille (Diawara og 62)
Mandanda; Azpilicueta, N'Koulou, Diawara, Morel; Diarra, Cheyrou, Amalfitano (Valbuena 68), A Ayew; J Ayew (Lucho 78), Rémy (Gignac 60)

• High-flying Montpellier ended OM's run of three successive Ligue 1 wins.

Team news
Stéphane Mbia could play his first competitive fixture since breaking a metatarsal on 14 August. Rod Fanni has been sidelined since breaking a toe at Arsenal FC on matchday four. Nicolas N'Koulou returned to action in Montpellier after shaking off a knee problem suffered on duty with Cameroon.

Olympiacos
Coach Ernesto Valverde
We are still hoping to qualify, it is not over. Tomorrow will be like a final. We are expecting a difficult game. If we lose we are out but we are not thinking about the Europa League yet. We are going to play for the three points. We have played well against good teams and we will give our all to win tomorrow.

It will be difficult because Marseille are a great team. We are going to try and avoid conceding quick goals. We know that Marseille create a lot of chances so we will try not to concede quickly. Marseille are a strong team with a good midfield – a complete, quick and skilful side that can strike at any moment. We will have to be cautious. Their situation in the league is not important [OM are tenth in Ligue 1]. Tomorrow Marseille can qualify, it is a different competition and the motivation will be there.

Weekend result
Saturday: Olympiacos 1-1 Panathinaikos FC (Djebbour 48; Zeca 17)
Megyeri; Torossidis, Mellberg, Papadopoulos, Holebas; Makoun (Pantelić 75), Modesto, Orbaiz (Yeste 46); Fuster (Abdoun 85), Djebbour, Mirallas

• Francisco Yeste made his league debut as Olympiacos were held to a second successive home top-flight draw. The 2-2 stalemate with OFI Crete FC on 29 October ended the Piraeus side's run of 17 consecutive home league wins.

Team news
Ariel Ibagaza is out with a quadriceps injury but Ljubomir Fejsa, who also missed the Panathinaikos game, has recovered from a foot injury to take his place in the squad. Jean Makoun and Pablo Orbaiz have been ruled out with the former sidelined for six to eight weeks after suffering a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his left knee.

Match fact
Olympiacos have lost eight of 11 games on French soil, five of them (including the last three) 2-1. They have recorded two victories, most recently 1-0 at FC Sochaux-Montbéliard in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup round of 32.

Last updated: 22/11/11 22.24CET

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http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2012/matches/round=2000263/match=2007643/prematch/preview/index.html#marseille+clear+olympiacos+hurdle

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