Mandanda ready for 'small final'

BY foxsports • November 22, 2010

With two rounds remaining, the teams are level on six points - six points behind leaders Chelsea - with only the top two in the pool progressing to the last 16 of the competition. Spartak currently hold that coveted second spot having beaten Marseille in their opening group match, but Mandanda wants to see his team change that at the Luzhniki Stadium. "Victory is imperative if we want to qualify for the knockout rounds," he said. "We know European football is a requirement so facing Spartak tomorrow is like a small final for us. "We know we must win there to achieve our aim of qualifying for the last 16." A 1-0 win over Toulouse at the weekend saw Marseille climb to fifth in Ligue 1, and striker Loic Remy believes that will stand them in good stead for the trip to the Russian capital. "We are very confident going into the match and we know what we have to do," he said. "With the state of mind we gained from winning on Saturday, I think we have a really good chance." Spartak were soundly beaten 4-1 by Chelsea in their last European outing, while their domestic campaign has also faltered with a 3-1 loss to city rivals CSKA Moscow at the weekend. The best they can hope for now is a fourth-placed finish in the Premier Liga, but Marseille boss Didier Deschamps does not think their opponents' poor league form will influence their European campaign. "I expect there to be several changes in the Spartak side for Tuesday's match from the one which played on Saturday," he said. "Their defeat will not change their mood a great deal nor their desire to beat us." Spartak boss Valeri Karpin is set to be without Sergei Parshivlyuk (knee), Alex and Ari (both thigh) for Tuesday night's clash, while Benoit Cheyrou (groin) will miss out for Marseille.


share story