Coach Didier Deschamps has warned Olympique de Marseille not to underestimate MŠK Žilina in Tuesday's "must-win" tie as counterpart Pavel Hapal worries about the home forwards.
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Didier Deschamps said that Olympique de Marseille would not underestimate MŠK Žilina as the pair meet in France having both lost their opening UEFA Champions League Group F games to Chelsea FC and FC Spartak Moskva. Žilina coach Pavel Hapal pointed to OM's weekend win against AS Nancy-Lorraine as proof of the danger they pose.
Didier Deschamps, Marseille coach
Žilina are not an unknown quantity. I have seen them, the players will have the information. We prepare for every match in the same way. Žilina are a very strong team with international players. They like to play football even when they are behind. They like to go forward and play the match at their own pace. In attack, they are very dangerous on set pieces. The players are not well known but they have quality.
We know what we have to do. If we want to go through, we have to win tomorrow and over there [on Matchday 4], before trying to win in Moscow. We will have to be ready physically and have the right balance. I will make a few changes in my team. Some players are not used as often and everybody in the team needs to feel involved. Tomorrow, the objective is to win.
Pavel Hapal, Žilina coach
Marseille's last match was not great but they still won, and this is what counts. The physical shape of my team is excellent, we have no issues except for [Babatounde] Bello and [Mário] Pečalka. We will see and I hope they can play tomorrow.
We have no pressure, we will need to be focused to play a good game in Marseille. We will play for a win. I think that Marseille are very good up front. They have great individuals who can be decisive at any time. It is their biggest asset. We know our place in the Champions League and we want to enjoy it and profit from our position as outsiders. It is going to be difficult to go through but we will fight for third place. Tomorrow's match will be decisive.
Hilton is out with a groin injury while Loïc Rémy is doubtful with a left foot problem. Stéphane Mbia was brought on against Nancy on Saturday having sat out Cameroon's 1-1 draw against Congo DR on 9 October with heatstroke. Mathieu Valbuena also came off the bench after returning from international duty with a knee problem. Brandão (hamstring) was an unused substitute and both he and Leyti N'Diaye (shoulder) are in Tuesday's squad.
Forward Bello has not played since 24 September due to a knee problem but has returned to training. He and defender Pečalka, who has hurt his ankle, face fitness tests.
16/10/10 Marseille 1-0 AS Nancy-Lorraine
Loïc Rémy scored his first goal for Marseille as Didier Deschamps' team extended their unbeaten Ligue 1 run to seven matches. They had begun the season with defeats by SM Caen (2-1) and Valenciennes FC (3-2), their worst start to a campaign since 1985/86.
15/10/10 FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce 0-4 Žilina
(Majtán 15 19 76, Zošák 74)
Tomáš Majtán's first top-flight hat-trick helped Žilina to their second successive 4-0 away win having beaten MFK Košice by the same scoreline on 2 October. Majtán has scored eight goals in seven starts in the league this season.
Did you know?
Žilina have had three contests against French sides, all in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. In the 1995 group stage they lost 5-0 at home to Olympique Lyonnais while two years later they beat FC Metz 2-1 in the first leg of their second-round tie, only to lose 3-0 in the return in the only away game of the three.
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