Olympique de Marseille could need a 3-0 win against Real Madrid CF to stay in the UEFA Champions League, but coach Didier Deschamps is hopeful even if they have "one chance in a million".
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Olympique de Marseille could need a big win against Real Madrid CF to stay in the UEFA Champions League, but coach Didier Deschamps says he remains hopeful even if they have "one chance in a million". Third in Group C, OM must overturn their 3-0 defeat in Madrid on 30 September unless AC Milan do not win at FC Zürich, in which case any victory will suffice for Marseille. Leaders Madrid can only be knocked out if they lose 3-0 or by four goals or more and Milan also pick up three points, but Manuel Pellegrini is aiming for victory and confirmation of first place.
Didier Deschamps, Marseille coach
We beat Madrid 3-1 when I was Monaco coach in 2003/04, but that wasn't the same context. It will be a different game this time and the first thing we need is a win, so that we don't have any regrets if things take an unexpected turn in Zurich and they beat Milan. That's our priority. Beating Madrid would be an upset and, as for hoping for more than that, I don't know what can happen in one match. Even if we have one chance in a million, or a billion, it doesn't matter: we still have a chance. It would be presumptuous to say we'll win 3-0, but why not think we can and think it could happen? The Champions League requires a little something extra, but I don't have a lot of inspired unpredictability in stock. I'm not convinced I'd get any even with five strikers out there. I just hope our fans will be inspired in the stands. Even without Kaká, Madrid have a lot of quality and they will not be weaker. Someone else will take his place. I'd be a lot happier if Ronaldo and Higuaín were out as well.
Manuel Pellegrini, Madrid coach
We would like to win, we would like to finish top. All the players are focused, whether starting or on the bench. We knew following the draw that Marseille are a good team, we need to be a great Real Madrid to win. Christiano Ronaldo won't be affected by the fact that he was sent off [at the weekend], it's two different competitions. Raúl is a leader, he can start or come off the bench, he always gives his best, and he is doing well. Whether Karim Benzema starts will be decided tomorrow. He will play well as he is a great player. He is young, and we appreciate his talent.
05/12/09 OGC Nice 1-3 Marseille
(Coulibaly 33; Niang 19, Lucho 77, Koné 86)
• Marseille had not won by more than a one-goal margin in the league since 17 October, when they beat AS Nancy-Lorraine 3-0.
• Substitute Bakari Koné scored OM's third – against his former side – just 28 seconds after coming on as a substitute as Marseille stayed six points behind leaders Bordeaux in seventh.
05/12/09 Madrid 4-2 UD Almería
(Sergio Ramos 31, Higuaín 73, Benzema 82, Ronaldo 84; Soriano 58, Uche 62)
• Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty before scoring Madrid's fourth against Almería but was sent off in the 88th minute.
• Madrid slipped from top spot in Spain when they were handed their second Liga defeat of the campaign, 1-0 away against FC Barcelona in 'El Clásico' on 29 November.
Out: Cyril Rool (knee), Julien Rodriguez (ankle)
Doubtful: Stéphane Mbia (ankle)
Misses next match if booked: Gabriel Heinze, Brandão, Stéphane Mbia
Out: Guti (thigh), Ruud van Nistelrooy (thigh), Christoph Metzelder (hamstring), Kaká (groin)
Misses next match if booked: Marcelo, Lassana Diarra
• Kaká aggravated a persistent groin injury in the lead-up to the Almería match. "He has been playing through the pain," commented Madrid sporting director Miguel Pardeza.
• Marseille have lost all three of their previous meetings with Los Merengues, succumbing 3-0 on Matchday 2, and 4-2 in Spain and 2-1 at home in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Madrid were beaten on their last three visits to France, going down to Olympique Lyonnais in the group stages of both the 2005/06 and 2006/07 campaigns. That was preceded by a 3-1 loss to AS Monaco FC in the 2003/04 quarter-finals, and they have come off second best in five of their nine visits to the country.
Did you know?
OM's Fernando Morientes, at Madrid between 1997 and 2005, picked up three UEFA Champions League winners' medals with the club. He also scored in the capital side's 3-0 victory over Valencia CF in the 2000 final, as did Raúl.
For more information on the match in the official press kit, click here.