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All or nothing for Marseille and Liverpool

Matchday 6 at the Stade Vélodrome will be a straight knockout between Olympique de Marseille and Liverpool FC with whoever coming out on top progressing.

Marseille will be hoping to repeat their wins of Matchday 1 and 2 when Liverpool visit
Marseille will be hoping to repeat their wins of Matchday 1 and 2 when Liverpool visit ©Getty Images

Matchday 6 at the Stade Vélodrome has become a straight knockout, winner-takes-all tie. Olympique de Marseille and Liverpool FC are level on seven points and whoever comes out on top will be celebrating a place in the UEFA Champions League last 16.

• Group A is particularly competitive with just two points separating leaders FC Porto and Beşiktaş JK in fourth place and those two teams meeting in the section's other game at the Estádio do Dragão. For Marseille and Liverpool the qualifying odds favour the French club because a draw, coupled with a Porto win, would send Marseille through on account of their victory at Anfield on 3 October. Yet should Beşiktaş triumph then a draw would be enough for Liverpool. In that instance the Turkish side would finish as winners of the section while Porto, Liverpool and Marseille would all have eight points with the English side progressing by virtue of their superior record against the other two teams.

• That would be a heavy blow to the French side who must have thought they had the edge over the Merseyside club having won at Anfield in Erik Gerets' first game in charge thanks to a Mathieu Valbuena strike 13 minutes from time. It was their second successive victory and gave them top spot in the section. However, since then Marseille have gained only one point – at home to Porto – and have lost their last two games at Porto and Beşiktaş by the same 2-1 scoreline.

• When Marseille and Liverpool met in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup fourth round it was the French club who came out on top, winning the home leg 2-1 after the game at Anfield had ended 1-1. Several Liverpool players were involved in those games who are likely to take part in the reunion: Steve Finnan, Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypiä, John Arne Riise, Steven Gerrard and Harry Kewell.

• Marseille went on to reach the final that season where they lost 2-0 to a Valencia CF team managed by current Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez. Mohamed Sissoko came on for the Spanish side late on in the game. In the semi-finals Marseille had also dismissed English club Newcastle United FC, winning the home leg 2-0.

• In total the inaugural UEFA Champions League winners in 1992/93 have faced English opponents on six occasions in European competition and have won every home match. Their last fixture came in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup Round of 32 when they beat Bolton Wanderers FC 2-1.

• Last season Gerets was in charge of Galatasaray AS and masterminded a 3-2 victory against Liverpool in Istanbul on Matchday 6. The away game had also ended 3-2, this time in favour of the English side.

• Two succesive wins, scoring 12 goals and conceding only one, has put the Merseyside outfit in position to claim a qualifying place for the fourth successive season. After starting with a draw and two defeats they then beat Beşiktaş 8-0 and Porto 4-1.

• The Merseyside club's last encounter with a French team came in this season's third qualifying round where they overcame Toulouse FC 1-0 away thanks to an Andriy Voronin goal before a 4-0 win at Anfield with two late goals from Dirk Kuyt to add to Peter Crouch and Hyypiä's earlier strikes.

• The five-time European Champion Clubs' Cup winners also took on opponents from across the English Channel in last season's group stage, winning 1-0 away to FC Girondins de Bordeaux and 3-0 at home. Crouch scored in the away leg and Gerrard in the home game.

• Those victories against Bordeaux and Toulouse have improved Liverpool's record in France which showed only one win and six defeats in their first seven visits. That lone success came against AJ Auxerre in the UEFA Cup fourth round in February 2003, via a 72nd-minute Hyypiä strike.

• For Liverpool fans there could be be two familiar faces lining up in the opposition ranks. Djibril Cissé made 78 appearances in three years for the Anfield club, scoring 24 goals, and Boudewijn Zenden, who appeared 47 times and swapped Merseyside for Marseille in the summer.