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Porto out to overhaul Marseille

Second meets first as Group A's two unbeaten sides go head-to-head in Portugal with FC Porto hoping to move above section leaders Olympique de Marseille.

Lucho González's equaliser with eleven minutes remaining at the Stade Vélodrome two weeks ago enabled FC Porto to stay on the coat tails of Olympique de Marseille and retain healthy prospects of qualifying for the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League for the fourth time in five seasons. The two sides are unbeaten but it is Marseille who are best placed with two wins and a draw in their three games while Porto have two draws and a win.

• Marseille know that victory at the Estádio do Dragão will put them into the knockout rounds regardless of the result of the night's other Group A fixture between Liverpool FC and Beşiktaş JK at Anfield. However, should Porto gain a second win in the section they will move a point clear at the top. They were thankful for González's intervention in France after Mamadou Niang had shot Marseille ahead midway through the second half and it was the same player who had put the Portuguese two-time European champions in front at home to Liverpool on Matchday 1.

• They were denied by Dirk Kuyt's equaliser on that occasion but Jesualdo Ferreira's team bounced back in style to win 1-0 away at Beşiktaş, Ricardo Quaresma scoring in the final seconds.

• Porto have a long history of tackling French opponents and in their last coronation season, 2003/04, they got the better of three teams – including Marseille – from that country on their way to the UEFA Champions League winners' podium.

• They won both their home games against French rivals, 1-0 against Marseille in the group stage and 2-0 against Olympique Lyonnais in the quarter-finals. They then completed the hat-trick by overcoming AS Monaco FC in the Gelsenkirchen final.

• The previous season Porto had raised the UEFA Cup in triumph, a run that included a third round success against RC Lens which was achieved through a 3-0 win in the home leg.

• French visitors have got the better of them on home soil on only one occasion, FC Nantes Atlantique winning 2-0 in the 1971/72 UEFA Cup first round. The other seven encounters have produced five Porto wins and two draws. The last pairing brought Paris Saint-Germain FC to the Estádio do Dragão three seasons ago in the UEFA Champions League group stage. The fixture ended 0-0.

• Apart from the 2003 group encounters with Porto, Marseille have only met one Portuguese side in UEFA competition. That came in the 1989/90 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-finals when they lost 1-0 in Lisbon against SL Benfica. The home leg had finished 2-1 in their favour so Benfica went through on away goals only to lose 1-0 against AC Milan in the final, played in Vienna.

• Last season's Ligue 1 runners-up were not in the best of domestic form when they began the European campaign but they got off to a great start with a home win against Beşiktaş and followed up in impressive fashion by winning away to Liverpool through Mathieu Valbuena's strike 13 minutes from time. It proved a great start for new coach Erik Gerets, who had replaced Albert Emon.