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In their last three head-to-heads Liverpool has scored an impressive 11 goals to Newcastle’s one. The pair, who both need the points for different reasons, meet this Sunday.

Coach Eric Gerets’s departure at the end of the season will not disturb Marseille’s pursuit of a first league title in 17 years, the players said.

Leaders Marseille sit on a two-point lead over Bordeaux going into the last five matches of the season.

Belgian Gerets, who took charge in September 2007, revealed on Wednesday he would not stay at Marseille because of the lack of trust between himself and club owner Robert Louis-Dreyfus.

“For us players, the most important thing right now is to be champions,” captain Lorick Cana told L’Equipe.

“As the team captain, I feel the players are not too disturbed going into the final sprint.”

Although some players were shocked by Gerets’s announcement, they vowed that his departure would not affect their performances.

“We are professionals. We heard it could disturb the team but it is part of our careers,” said defender Ronald Zubar.

“If we become champions, it will be thanks to him (Gerets).”

Midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, who became a regular starter under Gerets, said he was “stunned” by the news the Belgian would leave.

However, he added Marseille would be fully focused on the job in hand, saying: “We will not let go, we will do everything we can to be crowned champions in May. There is nothing to be afraid of.”

Victory against Toulouse at the Stade Velodrome would send Marseille five points clear for at least 24 hours. Bordeaux are at home to Sochaux on Sunday.

Seven-times champions Lyon lie third, six points behind Marseille.

In their last three head-to-heads Liverpool has scored an impressive 11 goals to Newcastle’s one. The pair, who both need the points for different reasons, meet this Sunday.

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