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Baup respects Nice challenge

Elie Baup’s Marseille have a local derby to look forward to this weekend when they host Nice in Ligue 1 action on Sunday.

Marseille may only trail league-leaders Paris Saint Germain on goal difference, but the nine-time French champions have won just one of their last six matches in all competitions.

Four of the club’s next five fixtures are at home, and with the club unbeaten in seven league games at the Stade Velodrome, coach Baup is keen take full advantage.

“For us it’s a big game,” he said. “We have a lot of games in quick succession.

“There is two days between the Europa League game and this one against Nice. It’s a tough game against a good opponent.

“We need to get points at home. This month, we play a lot at home so we need to get as many points as possible.

“There’s much at stake, it’s a tough match, a derby, and it’s going to be an important game for the championship.”

Nice have only tasted defeat twice in their last 10 league games and Baup is all too aware of the threat they pose.

“I think that Nice are playing well, they’re playing with a lot of passion,” the former Nantes tactician said. “Since the start of the season, they have played really well, but they don’t have the points they deserve.

“They are disciplined, force the issue, and tactically aware thanks to Claude Puel. Nice also have a lot of young players, they’ve decided to trust them after what they did in the youth championship.

“And they’ve also brought in some great talent. They have a long-term project and it’s a team that will be better and better with time.”

Fri 9 Nov, 2012
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