UEFA Champions League 2011, Marseille Vs. Olympiacos, Matchday 5 Preview: Marseille At The Brink Of Qualification

The Marseille team pose for a group photo during the UEFA Champions League Group F match between Olympique de Marseille and Arsenal FC at Stade Velodrome in Marseille, France. Marseille take on Olympiacos in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, November 22, 2011. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Olympique de Marseille will be almost qualified to the next round of the Champions League if it's able to beat their Greek guest, Olympiakos, on Wednesday night at Stade Vélodrome.

Ranked second in group F behind Arsenal, Marseille still holds a three-point lead over Borussia Dortmund, its closest pursuer, and a four-point lead on Olympiacos. It's not the most comfortable of leads, but with a win and an Arsenal victory over Borussia Dortmund, Marseille would seal qualification for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. This scenario would leave a battle for first place between Arsenal and Marseille during the last day of the UEFA Champions League group stage.

The away victory against Olympiacos was Marseille's first win of the season in all competitions, a small 1-0 victory. At that time, Olympiacos had not played any league games and only had a few friendly games under their belt. The Greeks will be looking to avenge their home defeat, now that it's the middle of November and their players have had more game time.

Marseille will expect a totally different game and anticipate a much more solid Olympiacos team with experienced players with International and Champions League caps; this is the Olympiacos team that beat Borussia Dortmund earlier in the Champions League campaign. A victory for Olympiacos would keep the Greek squad's hopes to qualify to next Champions League stage alive.

Marseille is coming off a 1-0 defeat to Montpellier which not only put them in tenth place in Ligue 1 standings, but rattled their confidence ahead of two important fixtures. Not only do they play an important and decisive Champions League game against Olympiakos on Wednesday, Marseille play the French derby against arch-nemesis Paris Saint-Germain this weekend.

A draw would not be a disaster for Marseille, but if Borussia Dortmund does not lose against Arsenal, the trip to Borussia on the last day of the group stage becomes a life or death situation. The German young guns are filled with total confidence coming off a 1-0 victory over powerhouse Bayern Munich, so they won't be intimidated against Arsenal.

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