Champions League: Marseille host Olympiakos in play for European survival
Marseille’s European destiny will be decided during their Champions League match against Olympiakos on Tuesday night.
The French side are bottom of Group E without any points from their four games. Andre Villas-Boas’ men also bear the infamy of failing to score any goals during their outings against tonight’s opponents as well as against Porto and Manchester City.
Defeat at the Velodrome will end their chances of even playing in the Europa League.
However victory by at least two clear goals would relaunch hopes of continuing in that competition.
“We’ve been rubbish in the Champions League,” said Marseille midfielder Boubacar Kamara. “There’s no point trying to hide it. We’ve got to win on Tuesday night and win again at Manchester City next week to try and restore some pride.”
Two wins - coupled with an Olympiakos setback in their last Group E match against Porto on 9 December would take Marseille into the Europa League knockout stages.
Marseille boss André Villas-Boas has admitted he is wary of the Europa League routine of Thursday night matches followed by Sunday night Ligue 1 games.
But Kamara was more forthright about European adventures. “Marseille should be in European competitions. After such a good season last year, we had hoped to do something in the Champions League … that has not happened so we’ve got to try and show something in the Europa League.”
Olympiakos will be determined opponents though. A win would secure a place in the Europa League and potentially open the way to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
If Manchester City win at Porto on Tuesday night, that would leave the Greeks with a chance of second place provided they beat Porto by at least three goals in their last match.
“We won’t have a chance of exploiting a Porto defeat against City if we don’t beat Marseille,” said Olympaikos boss Pedro Martins. “Even if a draw against Marseille takes us through to the Europa League, we won’t be looking for that. That’s never been our strategy.”
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