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Marseille and Inter waiting for lift-off

Published: Friday 10 September 2010, 14.56CET
Olympique de Marseille and FC Internazionale Milano are two of the clubs who are aiming to banish sluggish early-season form ahead of their UEFA Champions League openers.
Marseille and Inter waiting for lift-off
Didier Deschamps' Marseille have only taken four points from as many matches ©Getty Images

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Published: Friday 10 September 2010, 14.56CET

Marseille and Inter waiting for lift-off

Olympique de Marseille and FC Internazionale Milano are two of the clubs who are aiming to banish sluggish early-season form ahead of their UEFA Champions League openers.

Olympique de Marseille and FC Internazionale Milano are seeking morale-boosting victories ahead of UEFA Champions League action while FC Bayern München and Manchester United FC have scores to settle before their return to the European scene. UEFA.com previews the action and you can follow the scores throughout the weekend from all the European leagues live in our MatchCentre.

Germany: FC Bayern München v SV Werder Bremen (Saturday, 18.30)
It is the 99th meeting between the sides and the pair have each tasted victory and defeat in their first two games. For Bremen coach Thomas Schaaf, though, the season starts in earnest now the transfer window has closed. "Now you know what every team has at its disposal," he said. Having made no summer signings, Bayern are a known quantity, but Bremen are without pivotal players Claudio Pizarro, Naldo and Per Mertesacker. "One of our strengths is that we always give an outstanding performance no matter how many important players are sidelined," added Schaaf, whose side have not lost to Bayern in Munich for five years.

Italy: FC Internazionale Milano v Udinese Calcio (Saturday, 18.00)
Inter are aiming to kick-start their season after failing to score in their opening Serie A contest and the UEFA Super Cup. The Zebrette's untested defensive line could help the Nerazzurri with Andrea Coda, Damiano Ferronetti, Mauricio Isla and Dušan Basta all injured. "We are heading to Milan to win," said Udinese midfielder Gökhan Inler. "We must not fear them – we have proved tough opponents for them before." Inter needed a Dejan Stanković goal in the third minute of added time to win the corresponding fixture last term.

Portugal: FC Porto v SC Braga (Saturday, 21.15)
Runners-up to SL Benfica last season, Braga lie second after three games this time around but can reach the summit with a victory against leaders FC Porto at the Estádio do Dragão. Porto have won all six of their competitive matches under new coach André Villas-Boas and are yet to concede a Liga goal, but the UEFA Champions League group stage debutants are optimistic. "Porto and Braga have been the best teams so far," said Braga midfielder Hugo Viana. "It will be a hard match against an in-form team, but Porto know Braga have been great this season."

France: Olympique de Marseille v AS Monaco FC (Sunday, 21.00)
Marseille coach Didier Deschamps hosts the side he steered into the final of Europe's premier club competition six years ago ahead of OM's UEFA Champions League opener. With one win in their opening four league games, the French champions sit tenth and are shorn of centre-back pairing Leyti N'Diaye and Souleymane Diawara, plus striker Loïc Rémy, due to injury. Édouard Cissé and André Ayew are also suspended but Monaco are taking nothing for granted. "It's a tricky game ahead," said forward Daniel Niculae. "Marseille are the best supported team in the country and the atmosphere will be intimidating."

England: Everton v Manchester United FC (Saturday, 12.45)
Everton's 3-1 victory against Sir Alex Ferguson's side in February was one of only two league defeats United have suffered in 2010. That success, coupled with a dwindling injury list, provided a platform for David Moyes' men to finish the season with an 11-game unbeaten run and the Goodison Park club were, therefore, expecting a better start this time around than one point from three matches. Belief is imperative if Everton are to prevail, according to captain Phil Neville. "United are the best team in the country," he said. "For us to beat them like we did last year, we have to show no fear. We have to believe we are good enough to be on the same field as them."

Romania: FC Unirea Urziceni v FC Steaua Bucureşti (Saturday, 20.30)
By a quirk of fate, this is the first league fixture for either side since seven key players joined Steaua from their opponents following financial problems at Unirea. However, while Marius Bilaşco, George Galamaz, Marius Onofraş, Iulian Apostol, Laurentiu Marinescu, Ricardo Gomes and Pablo Brandán headed to the capital, Unirea were rebuilding by bringing in seven players from Steaua's reserve team. All of which suggests plenty of familiar faces will be on show for both sides on Saturday.

Austria: FC Wacker Innsbruck v SV Ried (Saturday, 16.00)
Promoted Wacker have taken 13 points from a possible 15, with the Tyrol outfit only looking up at one side – fellow surprise package Ried, who have five wins from six games. However, Wacker defender Georg Harding insists it is too early for euphoria. "We cannot start dreaming," he said. "We cannot and will not run rings around every opponent." Goalkeeper Wolfgang Hesl, loaned in from Hamburger SV to replace the injured Thomas Gebauer, is set to debut for Ried.

All times local; England and Portugal are one hour behind CET, Romania one hour ahead.

Last updated: 13/09/10 23.08CET

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