Jürgen Klopp eyes Borussia Dortmund's "great chance to qualify from a tough group" but warns that Olympique de Marseille are stronger than the sum of their points – zero.
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A positive Jürgen Klopp said Borussia Dortmund "have a great opportunity to qualify from a tough group" as his injury-hit side seek to overcome an Olympique de Marseille team bidding for their first point in Group F.
The German visitors will seal a place in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 with a victory, and can even afford to lose providing SSC Napoli do likewise at home to Arsenal FC. Klopp, though, is focused solely on a Marseille outfit especially dangerous after a run of three wins in ten games led to coach Élie Baup's departure on Saturday. José Anigo, who has replaced Baup on a temporary basis, is certainly not taking the match lightly, describing it as "crucial" for determining the club's future path.
José Anigo, interim coach
We will see tomorrow whether the spirit has altered among the squad [since the change of coach]. The players have not been up to the mark recently. We have to approach the game in a different frame of mind. With zero points to our name, we clearly have not done our job properly.
We have played well, apart from away to Arsenal [a 2-0 loss]. We could have done better. Against Dortmund – a real reference point for European football – we will have to give our all, and I think the players understand that they need to change something. Many things will change.
We will give our all in order to have a say in what happens in this group. What we are going to put into this game will be crucial in planning for the future.
Friday: Marseille 0-1 FC Nantes (Bedoya 16)
Mandanda; Fanni, Nkoulou, Diawara, Mendy; Romao, Cheyrou, Thauvin, Lemina (Khalifa 45), Payet (J Ayew 74); Gignac.
• A first home defeat by Nantes since 2002 – Marseille's third loss in four Ligue 1 outings – prompted the departure of Baup, who kicked off with a 4-3-3 formation, switching to 4-2-3-1 as Saber Khalifa came on for Mario Lemina.
Nicolas N'Koulou and Alaixys Romao are serving one-game bans while Mathieu Valbuena (shoulder) and André Ayew (knee) are sidelined with knocks. Rod Fanni played on Friday for the first time since sustaining a groin injury in October.
Jürgen Klopp, coach
We will see as it is always difficult to play teams after a change of coach. Marseille have a few injured players and we will prepare for that. We know they are going to fight: they are bottom of the group but they are a quality team, not a typical bottom-of-group team.
We are very positive, though. We have a great opportunity to qualify from a tough group and we are here to do so. We can adapt our system but we will not be influenced by Marseille's formation. We know we will have to be very rigorous and not be too relaxed because Marseille are going to be tough opponents.
Saturday: Dortmund 0-1 Bayer 04 Leverkusen (Son 18)
Weidenfeller; Grosskreutz, Friedrich, Sokratis, Durm; S Bender (Reus 63), Şahin (Piszczek 82); Błaszczykowski (Hofmann 67), Mkhitaryan, Aubameyang; Lewandowski.
• Klopp rested Marco Reus for the first hour as his third-placed side lost further ground in the Bundesliga title race. Dortmund now trail FC Bayern München by ten points and Leverkusen by six. Sokratis Papastathopoulos was sent off in stoppage time.
Dortmund lost Nuri Şahin and Sven Bender to ankle knocks against Leverkusen, the pair joining an injury list that already includes Mats Hummels (ankle), Marcel Schmelzer (calf), Neven Subotić (knee) and İlkay Gündoğan (back). Bender is out of matchday six but Şahin could feature.
• Marseille's overall record in 15 fixtures against German clubs is W5 D3 L7 (W4 D1 L2 at home). Dortmund have not scored on their last four visits to France.