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Marseille stand in Dinamo's way

FC Dinamo Bucuresti are leaving nothing to chance as they prepare for their Group F decider against already-qualified Olympique de Marseille.

Early arrival
Having already begun their domestic winter break, the Romanian club have been preparing in the south of France since Sunday, with coach Ioan Andone having arrived in Marseille even earlier. That gave him the opportunity to spy on Wednesday night's opponents in their Ligue 1 match against AJ Auxerre and Andone was more than impressed as Marseille won with a second-minute strike from Mamadou Niang.

Still hopeful
Andone, who has only Mihaita Plesan (knee) unavailable, said: "Marseille scored very early and preferred to play on the counterattack after that, especially because they have excellent players who suit such a style. I was impressed by Niang, and by the two players who support him from behind, [Samir] Nasri and [Franck] Ribéry." Despite such attacking strength, Andone said he was still "optimistic" about his team's prospects.

Trio to rest
Marseille may have already secured qualification, but coach Jean Fernandez is eager to try and clinch top spot ahead of PFC Levski Sofia who play at SC Heerenveen. However, Marseille also know they have a tough final domestic fixture of the year at RC Strasbourg on Saturday and could well rest Niang (ankle) along with defender Habib Beye (knee) and forward Sergio Koke (shoulder) at the Stade Vélodrome.

'Genuine game'
Fernandez may also start with Nasri and Ribéry on the bench, leaving Marseille without the three dangermen identified by Andone. It could mean a rare start for former FC Basel 1893 frontrunner Christian Giménez, and his coach is certain those who play will give their all. "One point should be enough for us to take first place but they won't give it to us," he said. "It will be a genuine European game."