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Olympique de Marseille do not have a good recent record in home UEFA Champions League matches as they open Group F against FC Spartak Moskva at Stade Vélodrome.
• The French champions are in their fourth successive campaign in the competition while the Russian club return for the first time since 2006/07.
• Marseille and Spartak last met in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup round of 32 when the French side's 3-0 home win – with Benoît Cheyrou and Taye Taiwo both on target – took them through despite a 2-0 second-leg reverse in Moscow.
• The teams for that first leg in Marseille on 13 February 2008 were:
Marseille: Mandanda, Bonnart, Taiwo, Faty (Kaboré 46), Givet, Cana, Nasri, Cheyrou, Valbuena (Zenden 77), Niang (Oruma 83), Cissé.
Spartak: Pletikosa, Stranzl, Kudryashov, Kováč, Maidana (Dineev 65), Mozart, Pavlenko (Prudnikov 83), Parshivlyuk, Bystrov (Pavlyuchenko 69), Titov, Welliton.
• Marseille hopes were ended in the next round by another Russian side, a 3-1 home win against FC Zenit St. Petersburg undone by a 2-0 second-leg defeat. Zenit went on to lift the trophy.
• The sides met in the 1990/91 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final when Marseille seized the initiative with a 3-1 win in Russia, subsequently recording a 2-1 win in the home leg. Spartak coach Valeri Karpin played in both games for the Moscow club.
• That Zenit defeat in March 2006 is Marseille's only blemish in five home games against Russian clubs, the other four matches all ending in victory. They include a 6-0 defeat of PFC CSKA Moskva in the 1992/93 group stage, their best ever win in the UEFA Champions League.
• Current coach Didier Deschamps played in that game which helped OM top their group and claim a place in the final where Basile Boli's 43rd-minute goal earned victory against AC Milan to make them the first – and still only – French team to lift the European Cup.
• Spartak have played ten games in France, conceding 26 goals, with the last nine all ending in defeat. Their first visit ended in a 1-1 draw at FC Nantes in the 1985/86 UEFA Cup third round, but even then there was disappointment as a 1-0 first-leg loss ended their campaign.
• Marseille have lost their last two Matchday 1 fixtures in the UEFA Champions League, both at home and both 2-1: to AC Milan 12 months ago and Liverpool FC in 2008/09.
• With Real Madrid CF also winning at Stade Vélodrome a year ago, in each of Marseille's last four group stage campaigns they have won only one of their three home games, losing six of those 12 matches.
• In their last UEFA Champions League campaign Spartak lost their first two away games before finishing with a 3-1 win – their only success in six games – against Sporting Clube de Portugal which secured third place.
• The opposing coaches were both involved when France and Russia were drawn in the same qualifying group for UEFA EURO 2000. In both cases the away team won 3-2, Karpin scoring the winning goal in the Paris fixture on 5 June 1999. Deschamps and Karpin were in the starting XI for both games with Russia's home fixture taking place in Moscow on 10 October 1998.
• Deschamps and Karpin both had one-year spells with Valencia CF, Karpin in 1996/97 and Deschamps in 2000/01.
• Deschamps' first European game came for Nantes against Spartak in that 1985/86 UEFA Cup tie.
• OM goalkeeper Elinton Andrade and Spartak midfielder Ibson both played for CR Flamengo in 2003.
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