|A||Real Sociedad||Shakhtar Donetsk|
Olympique de Marseille begin their ninth UEFA Champions League campaign with a match against familiar foes Arsenal FC, who beat them to first place in their section two seasons ago.
• Arsenal had the better of the two games in 2011/12, winning 1-0 away through Aaron Ramsey's late winner before the London return ended goalless. The Gunners finished a point ahead in the final standings.
• The lineups in Marseille on 19 October 2011 were:
Marseille: Mandanda, Azpilicueta, Diawara, N'Koulou, Morel, Diarra, Lucho González (Amalfitano 73), Cheyrou (Kaboré 87), Valbuena, A Ayew, Rémy (Gignac 69).
Arsenal: Szczęsny, Jenkinson (Djourou 62), Mertesacker, Koscielny, André Santos, Song, Arteta, Rosický, Walcott (Gervinho 67), Arshavin (Ramsey 78), Van Persie.
• The defeat means OM's home record against English visitors is W7 D1 L3, with the three defeats coming in the last five fixtures. They have faced three English opponents in their last two campaigns, beating Chelsea FC 1-0 on home soil in the 2010/11 group stage and drawing 0-0 at home to Manchester United FC in the round of 16 before a 2-1 away loss.
• Arsenal have remained unbeaten in their nine visits to France: six wins and three draws. They have won the last five fixtures, including a 2-1 success at Montpellier Hérault SC on matchday one last season.
• The Gunners have lost two European finals in Paris: 2-1 to FC Barcelona in the 2006 UEFA Champions League and 2-1 (aet) to Real Zaragoza in the 1995 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
• Last season's absence ended a run of five successive UEFA Champions League campaigns for Marseille. In 2011/12 they made it to the quarter-finals for the first time since becoming the tournament's inaugural winners in 1993, losing 2-0 home and away to FC Bayern München.
• Marseille have lost their last three home fixtures on matchday one; two years ago they were away, at Olympiacos FC, and won 1-0.
• OM's progress to the 2011/12 quarter-finals came despite their poor home UEFA Champions League record. They lost twice at Stade Vélodrome in the group and the loss to Bayern means they have suffered ten defeats in their last 21 home fixtures in the competition proper, with only eight victories.
• Arsenal's success in France is out of step with their recent record on their travels which shows nine defeats in 17 away games in the competition proper and five victories.
• Arsène Wenger's team, who finished fourth in the 2012/13 Premier League, are in the group stage for the 16th season in a row. For the sixth time in eight campaigns they had to negotiate a qualifying round, overcoming Fenerbahçe SK 5-0 on aggregate in the play-offs. Ramsey scored once in the 3-0 win in Turkey and then got both goals in the home victory.
• For the third season in a row Arsenal departed from last year's competition in the round of 16, losing 3-1 at home to Bayern and bowing out on away goals after a 2-0 away win. It was the 13th successive time that they had made it through the group.
• The win at Montpellier extended their unbeaten run on matchday one to nine games: seven wins and two draws. Their last opening-day defeat came on 17 September 2003 when FC Internazionale Milano won 3-0 at Highbury.
• Mathieu Flamini began his career at OM, making his senior debut in December 2003. At the end of that season he joined Arsenal for the first time.
• Arsène Wenger was a defender with RC Strasbourg and began his coaching career with AS Nancy-Lorraine and AS Monaco FC.
• Bacary Sagna (AJ Auxerre 2004–2007), Laurent Koscielny (EA Guingamp 2004–2007, Tours FC 2007–2009, FC Lorient 2009/10), Mikel Arteta (Paris Saint-German FC 2001–2002), Olivier Giroud (Grenoble Foot 38 2005-2008, FC Istres, loan, 2007-2008, Tours FC 2008-2010, Montpellier 2010-2012) and Yaya Sanogo (Auxerre 2010-2013) have all played in France.
• Sagna, Koscielny and Giroud are France team-mates of Steve Mandanda, André-Pierre Gignac, Mathieu Valbuena, Dimitri Payet and Rod Fanni.
• Valbuena scored France's second goal in a 2-1 friendly win against England at Wembley Stadium on 17 November 2010. Theo Walcott and Kieran Gibbs both appeared for the home side.
• Sanogo, Mario Lemina and Florian Thauvin were all part of France's triumphant FIFA Under-20 World Cup squad in Turkey this summer.
• Sagna and Benoît Cheyrou were team-mates at Auxerre.
• Alaixys Romao and Jérémy Morel played with Koscielny at Lorient.
• Jordan and André Ayew play for Ghana alongside Emmanuel Frimpong.
• Souleymane Diawara spent 2006/07 in England with Charlton Athletic FC.
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