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UEFA Champions League

  • November 23, 2011
  • • 19:45
  • • Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
  • Referee: N. Rizzoli
  • • Attendance: 25392
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Champions League Preview: Olympique Marseille v Olympiakos

Champions League Preview: Olympique Marseille v Olympiakos

Panoramic

The Ligue 1 giants head into matchday five in the knowledge that a win could seal their place in the last 16. Similarly, Valverde's men could be eliminated at Stade Velodrome


PROBABLE LINEUPS

MARSEILLE
Marseille
Mandanda;
Azpilicueta, Diawara, N'Koulou, Morel
Lucho Gonzalez, Diarra, Cheyrou,
Ayew, Remy, Valbuena


OLYMPIAKOS
Olympiakos Piraeus 
Costanzo
Torosidis, Papadopoulos, Mellberg, Holebas
Fejsa, Modeste 
Fuster, Fetfatzidis, Mirallas
Djebbour

Olympique de Marseille boss Didier Deschamps is set to recall Mathieu Valbuena to the starting line-up after the diminutive winger sat out Saturday evening's 1-0 defeat to Montpellier. Lucho Gonzalez, who scored the winner when the sides met on matchday one in September, is also likely to return to the fold after coming off the bench at Stade de la Mosson.

Stephane Mbia has been out since August with a broken metatarsal, but the Cameroonian defender could be in contention after making the substitutes bench at the weekend. Rod Fanni is also out after breaking a toe against Arsenal last month, with Nicolas N'Koulou deputising in defence.

Ernesto Valverde has various injury concerns to contend with ahead of his side's do-or-die trip to France. Ariel Ibagaza, Jean Makoun (both knee) and Pablo Orbaiz (groin) have not made the journey, with Lubomir Fejsa overcoming a strained foot to take his place. Kevin Mirallas makes his second trip west after featuring for Belgium against France last week.

Tassos Papazoglou underwent surgery for a knee injury, with David Fuster and Djamel Abdoun travelling after recovering from recent knocks as the Greek champions look to prolong their stay in the Champions League.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Olympique de Marseille have won two out of four Champions League group games so far, with a 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium against Arsenal their last outing.
  • L'OM are aiming to qualify for the last 16 for the second time in seven attempts. They achieved this last season on matchday five against Spartak Moscow, winning 3-0. 
  • Didier Deschamps' men won their last fixture at home against Olympiakos, 3-0 in the 1994-95 season.
  • Olympiakos were defeated 1-0 away to Borussia Dortmund on matchday four.
  • Ernesto Valverde's men have only won once in the Champions League this season, beating the German champions on matchday three.
  • Olympiakos could be eliminated from all European competition if they are defeated and Borussia Dortmund beat Arsenal. They won't be able to qualify for the last 16 if they do not win.
  • Similarly, Marseille can qualify on Wednesday if they defeat Olympiakos and Dortmund drop points against Arsenal. A draw will suffice if the English side beat Dortmund at the Emirates. 

Players to watch

L. Rémy

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The French international has been Marseille's saviour at times of mediocrity at the Stade Velodrome. The former Nice man has succeeded where fellow frontman Andre Pierre Gignac has faltered and it has not gone unnoticed in Europe. Pacy, considerable strength, and a keen aerial advantage is just some of the attributes Remy possesses with Olympiakos certainly looking to keep him quiet on Wednesday.

R. Djebbour

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The 27-year-old French-born Algerian returns to the country of his birth, with a distinct goalscoring record under his belt in 2011-12. Seven goals in seven league games so far, and he also netted his first goal in the Champions League last month against Dortmund. Leading the line on Wednesday evening, the frontman will have to be on his best form as his side fight elimination.

Editor's Prediction

Despite a slight setback in form, Marseille are favourites to oust the Greeks, especially when there is a last 16 place at stake. After a gritty 0-0 draw against Arsenal in London displayed their credentials, OM have the talent and guile to seal the deal. For the Kikkoni, they have an atrocious record in France, and it doesn't look to be getting any better.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Olympique Marseille

Olympiakos Piraeus

Wins
1
0
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Olympique de Marseille MAR
Olympique de Marseille Olympique Marseille
Draw
Olympiakos CFP OLY
Olympiakos CFP Olympiakos Piraeus
75%

Top 3 Predictions

Olympique de Marseille MAR
2 - 0
Olympiakos CFP OLY
Olympique de Marseille MAR
1 - 0
Olympiakos CFP OLY
Olympique de Marseille MAR
2 - 1
Olympiakos CFP OLY

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