Marseille Vs. Borussia Dortmund, 2011 UEFA Champions League Matchday 2 Preview: Teams Look To Break Out From League Struggles

Both teams have difficult and slow starts in their respective local leagues. Borussia Dortmund are favourites even on the road as they currently play a better brand of football than their Mediterranean hosts.

L'Olympique de Marseille is host to Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night at the Velodrome. Both teams are going through a difficult start to the season in their respective leagues, and will be looking for some serenity in the Champions League.

UEFA Champions League seems to be a cure for Marseille's blues as their first win of the season , in all competitions, came against Olympiakos in Greece on a 0-1 score. But Marseille will be facing Dortmund a direct competitor for a spot to the knockout phase.

Since a victory in Greek lands, Marseille have gone hot and cold: a 2-0 defeat to Lyon, a victory (their first in Ligue 1) against Evian-TG (2-0) and a draw to Valenciennes (1-1). Things look better than expected with a lack of offensive flair and injuries to important players.

But their opponents of the day, Borussia Dortmund, are not in great form. Even though they are coming off a 1-2 victory over Mainz, the German champions are not remotely close to their championship-winning rhythm of the previous year. With only eight points out of a possible 21, Borussia Dortmund are 8 points behind current leader, Bayern Munich. 

Interesting stats:

- L'Olympique de Marseille have done well against German clubs in European competitions, winning 3 of their last 4 games against German opposition.

- Borussia have scored 0 goals against French opponents in their last 3 games with their last game in France being a 0-0 tie against PSG in the Europa League group phase

Players to watch

Borussia Dortmund:

May I suggest to keep a keen eye on Japanese sensation Shinji Kagawa. With a short championship season due to injuries, he was still an important player for Dortmund with 8 goals in 16 Bundesliga games. OM will need to mark him closely as he played an excellent game against Arsenal, 2 weeks earlier. Playing a joker/support striker position, Kagawa likes to switch side frequently especially with a natural and dangerous association (for their opponents) with German future star Mario Götze.

Olympique de Marseille:

Morgan Amalfitano has been given more playing time in Ligue 1 action. He has taken advantage of Lucho Gonzalez's repositioning into a deeper position in the midfield, Didier Deschamps finally realizing that Lucho was never and will never be a classical number 10 / play maker. Amalfitano is now the designated play maker of l'OM in only his second Champions League appearance.

Projected Borussia Dortmund lineup (4-2-3-1): Weidenfeller - Piszczeck, Subotic, Hummels, Löwe - Kehl (C) or Gündogan, S. Bender - Götze, Kagawa, Perisic - Lewandowski

Projected Olympique de Marseille lineup (4-2-3-1): Mandanda (C) - Azpilicueta, So. Diawara, Nkoulou, Morel - A. Diarra or Kaboré, Lucho - Valbuena, Amalfitano, A. Ayew - Rémy


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