- Brighton will play Marseille at home on Thursday for the top spot in Group B
- The south coast club have already secured qualification to the knockout stage
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Beat Marseille at the Amex Stadium on Thursday night and the Sussex club on their maiden European adventure will book a place in the last 16 of the competition.
‘It’s a prestigious thing to finish top of the table for the history of our club,’ said De Zerbi. ‘We want to win, we are serious people and when we work, we want to show our best.
‘We have played well in Europe and have won three games in a very tough group. There is another step, we have to try and win.
‘Marseille are a very good team but we have the ambition to finish top of our group.
Roberto De Zerbi is keen for a statement Europa League victory to boost Brighton’s profile
The Seagulls have already secured Europa League knockout stage qualification ahead of the final matchday
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‘It will also mean we play two less games at the start of the year.’
Brighton are assured a place in the knock-out phase, but can only a win against Marseille will be enough to win Group B and speed them directly into the last 16 of the competition.
Anything else and they will face a last-32 fixture against one of the teams dropping in from the Champions League, which includes Galatasaray and Benfica.
De Zerbi will be encouraged by the clear signs of development. They lost the opener at home to AEK Athens and were 2-0 down in Marseille before fighting back to take a point then win their next three games, two against Ajax and away in Athens.
‘We are playing better and are stronger now,’ said the Brighton boss. ‘We are improving mentality and quality of play – but so are Marseille.’
Rino Gattuso’s team, currently sixth in the French league, arrive as group leaders and with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in prolific form with seven goals in his last four appearances.
De Zerbi hopes to have Danny Welbeck fit to take part at Arsenal on Sunday but says he will not be ready for this game.
Former Arsenal and Chelsea strike Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will return to English soil