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Ayew confident Marseille can beat title rivals

Ahead of their last match before Ligue 1's mid-season break, Ayew played down the importance of Marseille potentially finishing first across the first half of the season.

Instead, the Ghana international was more interested in discussing Marseille's losses at third-placed Lyon, second-placed Paris Saint-Germain and sixth-placed Monaco.

Monaco, who finished second in 2013-14, trumped Marseille 1-0 last week but Ayew insists his team can improve against Ligue 1's powerhouses in the second half of the season.

"We went there [Paris, Lyon and Monaco] and even if we dominated all three games, we had more opportunities, but we lost," Ayew said.

"We showed we don't fear them. We went to get them in their camp. So I think we have shown a lot of character."

Ayew added: "We weren't able to kill the games against these teams. But when I see what we produced and the opportunities we created, I can sleep easy and know that we can really do something in the second half of the season against these big teams.

"But the championship is not just the games against them; we have to be strong against all the other teams."

Marseille lead the French top flight by one point from reigning champions PSG, while Lyon are a point further back, ahead of their hosting of 12th-placed Lille on Sunday.

Sealing top spot ahead of 2015 will not lead to celebrations from their 25-year-old attacking midfielder.

"Honestly, to be the Autumn champions is anecdotal," he said.

"It's not a prize, your name's not written on the trophy, but I think with all we have done so far, we deserve to finish the first part of the season at the top.

"We'll do everything we can. But one, two or three points difference is not such a big deal. The season will be long. The teams behind us are still there. It will be a long and exciting year so you have to expect the unexpected."