Tottenham Hotspur will have to prepare for “war” when they take on Marseille in the Champions League next week, says Chancel Mbemba.
The Premier League club’s European fate hangs in the balance ahead of next week’s huge clash at the Stade Veledrome.
When Tottenham were handed a Group D draw consisting of Eintracht Frankfurt, Sporting Lisbon and Marseille, many fancied them to qualify comfortably.
It has been far from comfortable, however, even though Antonio Conte’s side sit top of the table with one game remaining.
After winning their opening fixture against the Ligue 1 club, Tottenham were beaten by Sporting in the Portuguese capital.
They have since dropped points against Frankfurt in Germany and at home to Sporting this week, with a narrow 3-2 win over the Europa League holders sandwiched in between.
Victory on Wednesday would have secured Spurs’ place in the next round of the competition and they thought they had done just that when Harry Kane scored a 95th-minute winner.
It was, however, disallowed after a lengthy VAR review adjudged the England captain to be offside.
Conte and his players were absolutely furious with the decision and the Italian head coach was sent off as a result, meaning he will not be on the touchline in France next week.
Marseille would have been in a much stronger position if they won against Frankfurt on Wednesday, but they were beaten 2-1, meaning all four teams can still win the group.
Immediately after the club’s defeat, their defender Mbemba recognised the importance of the match against Spurs.
“We are disappointed, we had to come back with a point,” he told Le Parisien.
“We lost, that’s the reality of football, but we’re not going to give up and keep working because there’s one game left at him.
“We know very well that we made mistakes, but we will continue to work.
“That’s a lot of defeats and it hurts. Is it possible? Sure. First you have to win in the league.
“Against Tottenham, it’s going to be war, it’s going to be a final.”
Wing-back Jonathan Clauss believes anything is possible when Marseille host Spurs.
“We have to remain optimistic, we have no choice,” he said.
“We absolutely wanted to win tonight (Wednesday), it was not done.
“Now, we know that everything is still possible and that everything remains to be done.
“We will have to prepare very hard to win this match.
“We must not touch this confidence that we have been able to garner, that is what will make us succeed in lasting.”
Marseille have lost their last three Ligue 1 fixtures and currently sit fifth in the French top flight, nine points behind Paris Saint-Germain.
They travel to Strasbourg on Saturday night, while Spurs face Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium five hours prior.
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