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.
- 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
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