Emon homes in on European goal

Olympique de Marseille coach Albert Emon hopes a win against LOSC Lille Métropole on Sunday night will lift his side into UEFA Champions League contention.

Emon confidence
Marseille sit in eighth place in Ligue 1 and have spent most of the season in mid-table but with leaders and champions Olympique Lyonnais 16 points clear at the top and only four points separating second-placed RC Lens from AJ Auxerre in tenth with eight games remaining, Emon is convinced Marseille can return to Europe's elite - provided they win their crunch match against sixth-placed Lille.

Key match
"Sunday's game will determine the rest of the season for us," he said. "Should we win, we will leapfrog them and can still aim for the [UEFA] Champions League." Emon's optimism has doubtless been stoked by a miserable run of results for Lille. Claude Puel's side, who were eliminated in the UEFA Champions League first knockout round by Manchester United FC, travel to the south coast on the back of two straight home defeats and four games without a goal. "We not playing efficiently but are creating chances," said Puel. "My players need to react but there will be no added pressure on them from my part."

Ribéry revival
With just one win from their last nine games, Marseille are not exactly flying themselves but the return from a foot injury of French international Franck Ribéry could spark a revival. Former Rangers FC centre-back Julien Rodriguez is also expected to start after a thigh strain, although Lille will be without captain Grégory Tafforeau and Yohan Cabaye due to ankle problems. Cabaye's fellow midfielders Mathieu Bodmer and Jean II Makoun are also both doubtful with thigh injuries.