UEFA Champions League: Borussia Dortmund vs Olympique Marseille – Preview
Dortmund: Borussia Dortmund host Olympique Marseille on Tuesday with both sides badly needing a win after opening defeats to keep alive their hopes of reaching the Champions League`s knock-out phase.
Having lost to Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich in last season’s final, Dortmund got off to a bad start a fortnight ago, losing 2-1 at Napoli in their Group F opener as Marseille went down 2-1 at Arsenal.
It was a bad night in Naples for Borussia as centre-back Mats Hummels limped off with a leg injury, goalkeeper Ronen Weidenfeller was sent off and coach Jurgen Klopp was sent to the stands for berating the referee.
Weidenfeller is suspended for Tuesday`s match at Dortmund`s Signal Iduna Park, while Klopp will be in the stands having been given a one-match ban from the bench by European football`s governing body UEFA.
In the wake of their Napoli defeat, Klopp insisted: "We definitely didn`t produce our best display, but nothing is lost yet" but another defeat on Tuesday would seriously dampen Dortmund`s European ambitions.
The Germans are chasing some Champions League revenge against Marseille after Dortmund and OM went head-to-head in the group stages two years ago with Marseille prevailing 3-0 at home and 3-2 away.
Borussia warmed-up for the French visit with a 5-0 drubbing of Freiburg on Saturday to stay top of the Bundesliga on goal difference from European champions Bayern.
Germany winger Marco Reus and striker Robert Lewandowski both scored twice in the rout with the Poland striker admitting Dortmund had targeted a big win to throw down the gauntlet for Marseille.
"We wanted to put the result beyond doubt in the first half (against Freiburg), because we know we have a tough game ahead of us in the Champions League," said Lewandowski.
"That is what our main concentration is on now, but despite of that we were very happy to get three more points against Freiburg."
Dortmund face Marseille without Germany left-back Marcel Schmelzer, who is out for three weeks after tearing a thigh muscle in training on Friday.
Schmelzer should be available again in time for Dortmund`s away game against Arsenal on October 22, but is likely to miss Germany`s World Cup qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland and Sweden next month.
Germany midfielder Sven Bender should be able to play, despite missing the second-half against Freiburg with a shoulder injury after landing on the joint from a header.
Marseille warmed-up for Dortmund with a 2-0 win at Lorient on Saturday to stay third in the French league with Mathieu Valbuena and Andre Ayew scoring second-half goals.
Defender Jeremy Morel has been sidelined with a knee injury while striker Andre-Pierre Gignac is unlikely to play as he recovers from a toe problem and has missed the last two games.