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All or nothing for Marseille as Napoli come calling

Published: Monday 21 October 2013, 20.59CET
After two losses from two, Olympique de Marseille are fighting for their UEFA Champions League lives as they welcome a SSC Napoli team stung by a weekend setback.
by Sébastien Blanchard
from Marseille
All or nothing for Marseille as Napoli come calling
"We still have hope," says Marseille coach Élie Baup ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Monday 21 October 2013, 20.59CET

All or nothing for Marseille as Napoli come calling

After two losses from two, Olympique de Marseille are fighting for their UEFA Champions League lives as they welcome a SSC Napoli team stung by a weekend setback.

It is all or nothing for Olympique de Marseille on Tuesday as they fight for their UEFA Champions League lives at home to SSC Napoli.

The French side have lost two out of two in Group F and another defeat would leave them six points adrift of second spot with three matches to play. Coach Élie Baup says his players know what is at stake but insists that hope and spirits are still high. His Napoli counterpart, Rafael Benítez, meanwhile, warned his players to be wary of the wounded animal as he targets three "very important" points for a team knocked off their stride on Saturday with a 2-0 loss at AS Roma.

Marseille
Élie Baup, coach
The squad have been showing a lot of intensity and involvement in their work; we are in good spirits. Tomorrow we will have to produce a good performance, play some good football and get a result. We will keep an eye on what is happening in the other match but it is up to us to play our own game.

Napoli are a very quick team that play well going forward. They know how to create situations quickly, on the break. They are a team full of great players but we will give everything to win. The important thing is to keep faith that we can qualify. We still have hope; we will give everything to do it.

Weekend result
Friday: OGC Nice 1-0 Marseille (Cvitanich 40)
Mandanda; Fanni, N'Koulou, Mendes (Diawara 8), Morel (Mendy 70); Romao, Imbula; Thauvin (Khalifa 63), Valbuena, A Ayew; Gignac.

• Defeat on the French Riviera was OM's third in succession in all competitions, a run that started on matchday two.

Team news
Centre-back Lucas Mendes has been ruled out with an ankle injury sustained in the early stages of Friday's game while Saber Khalifa is sidelined with a calf problem. Kassim Abdallah and Dimitri Payet are available.

Napoli
Rafael Benítez, coach
We have analysed our game in Rome and there are a lot of positives to draw from it. We have a strong team with a lot of character and I am convinced that we will show that on the pitch [on Tuesday night]. It is important to both teams to win, and we have to make sure the result goes our way.

Marseille have lost three games in a row so it will be even more difficult for us. They will want to prove themselves and show they can win the game, but our determination will shine through. We are in the so-called 'group of death'. Our season does not depend on [Tuesday's game] but this group might and it will be very important to take the three points.

Weekend result
Friday: AS Roma 2-0 Napoli (Pjanić 45+4 71pen)
Reina; Maggio, Albiol, Britos (Cannavaro 45), Mesto; Inler (Dzemaili 82), Behrami; Callejón, Hamšík, Insigne; Pandev (Higuaín 68).

• Napoli failed to score for the first time in the league this season as Roma stretched their winning start in Serie A to eight matches. Substitute Paolo Cannavaro was booked for the foul which led to Pjanić's opener, a free-kick, and again for conceding a second-half penalty that brought the second. Napoli are now five points adrift of the leaders.

Team news
Raúl Albiol and Gonzalo Higuaín recovered from thigh injuries to feature at the Stadio Olimpico, the latter as a substitute, while Christian Maggio (knee) played for the first time since matchday one. However, Miguel Britos hurt his collarbone and, like, Camilo Zúñiga, who has had knee surgery, has been ruled out of the OM tie. 

Match fact
• The clubs have never met before. Napoli, in only their second UEFA Champions League group stage campaign, have not encountered French opponents since the 1992/93 UEFA Cup second round when a 0-0 draw away to Paris Saint-Germain FC followed a 2-0 home defeat in which George Weah got both goals.

Last updated: 21/10/13 23.30CET

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