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Buoyant Marseille target Dortmund scalp

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06 Dec 2011 00:46:50

Buoyant Marseille target Dortmund scalp

Didier Deschamps wants Marseille to channel the momentum generated by the upturn in their domestic fortunes when they visit Borussia Dortmund for Tuesday's crucial Champions League game.

Marseille were eight minutes from the knockout phase in their last European outing, only for Giannis Fetfatzidis' late strike to earn Olympiakos a 1-0 win at Stade Velodrome and take Group F down to the wire.

Should Olympiakos fail to defeat already-qualified Arsenal in their final game, a draw will be enough to take Marseille through, but the 2010 French champions can make doubly sure with victory over Jurgen Klopp's Dortmund.

Since that setback against Olympiakos, Marseille have re-ignited their Ligue 1 campaign with a 3-0 victory over arch rivals Paris Saint-Germain and a 2-1 win at Caen on Friday.

The victory at Caen took them up to seventh in the table, seven points outside the top three, and they head into Tuesday's game at Signal Iduna Park with a psychological edge thanks to a 3-0 win in September's return fixture.

"I'm expecting a big atmosphere in Dortmund," said Deschamps, whose side recorded just one win in their first 10 league games.

"They played a very good game at our place but made some mistakes. In the league they're doing very well.

"To be in control of our destiny, we have to win over there. Afterwards there are lots of complicated permutations. I'll keep myself informed during the match."

Deschamps has been boosted by the return to fitness of striker Loic Remy, who missed the game at Caen with a sprained ankle that he sustained after opening the scoring in the match against PSG.

Left-back Jeremy Morel has also been included in the squad after missing the trip north to Caen, but Andre-Pierre Gignac will not play due to a groin injury he picked up in the same game.

Marseille's defeat of PSG brought the smiles back to their La Commanderie training base but goalkeeper Steve Mandanda says they will require the same level of focus at German champions Dortmund.

"It's a match that will have the same intensity," said the France international. "We'll need to put in the same ingredients: concentration, determination and communication.

"Above all it's imperative to put in the same collective effort."

Having returned to the Bundesliga summit with a 2-0 defeat of derby rivals Schalke at the end of November, Dortmund slipped to second place following their 1-1 draw at third-placed Borussia Moenchengladbach on Saturday.

Dortmund can still reach the last 16, but they would need to beat Marseille by at least four goals and hope Arsenal defeat Olympiakos.

Victory could give them the consolation of a berth in the Europa League, but only if Olympiakos lose as well.

"We are not out -- we have to win by a big score and rely on Arsenal to help us," said Klopp after his side's 2-1 loss at Arsenal in their last outing.

"This team is ready to take any chance. We will definitely not give up, we know we have to play well against Marseille, but they are under big pressure themselves.

"Again, everything has happened in football and we will be ready. I don't know what will happen, but we will be ready."

Although their chances are slim, Dortmund can take consolation from a record of three wins, three draws and no defeats in their previous home games against French teams in European competition.


AFP

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