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Marseille eager to rely on home help

Olympique de Marseille have traditionally been strong on Matchday 1 in the UEFA Champions League and will hope to do the same against Beşiktaş JK.

In their previous two appearances in the UEFA Champions League, Olympique de Marseille were happy with the outcome of their first home games, winning 2-0 and 3-0 against SK Sturm Graz and FK Partizan in 1999/00 and 2003/04 respectively. They will be hoping for another convincing performance when their 2007/08 campaign gets under way with a Matchday 1 home fixture against Beşiktaş JK.

• That 2003/04 edition had begun with a 4-2 defeat at Real Madrid CF where Didier Drogba had opened the scoring for Marseille. The striker then scored all three goals against Partizan, form that was to earn him a move to Chelsea FC at the end of the season, but his team could finish no higher than third in the group, having lost their other two home fixtures. They found more success however in the UEFA Cup campaign that followed, progressing to the final where they lost 2-0 to Valencia CF.

• The French club, inaugural UEFA Champions League winners in 1992/93, finished as group runners-up in 1999/00 behind Manchester United CF and progressed to the second group stage, finishing bottom of the four teams. In their nine home games in the competition they have won four, drawn two and lost three.

• Albert Emon’s side, who finished second in Ligue 1 and were runners-up in the French Cup, have never before faced a team from Turkey in UEFA club competition while Beşiktaş, coached by Ertuğrul Sağlam and back in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in four seasons, have met French clubs home and away on two occasions. When they faced AJ Auxerre in the 1994/95 UEFA European Cup Winners' Cup second round and Paris Saint-Germain FC in the UEFA Champions League group stage three years later, they lost both away legs, by 2-0 and 2-1 respectively. The home legs resulted in a 2-2 draw and a 3-1 defeat of the visitors from Paris.

• This is the fourth participation in the UEFA Champions League for the Süper Lig runners-up and in a group that also includes Liverpool FC and FC Porto, they will be hoping to improve on their record so far – two third-place finishes in the 1997/98 and 2003/04 group stages, with a finishing group position of fourth in 2000/01. In the UEFA Cup campaign that followed in 2003/04 they were knocked out in the third round by eventual winners Valencia CF.

• It did not help that in each of those UEFA Champions League editions, Beşiktaş began their campaign with a defeat, losing 2-0 away to FC Bayern München in 1997, 4-1 away to AC Milan three years later and 2-0 at home to S.S. Lazio in 2003.

• The 2000/01 campaign was eminently forgettable as all three away games were lost – for a total of 15 goals conceded, Leeds United AFC (6-0) and FC Barcelona (5-0) managing to overhaul Milan’s total. In their nine away games in the competition they have only gained three points on one occasion – against Chelsea FC on Matchday 2 in 2003/04. In their 18 games, home and away, their number of victories totals just five.

• Turkey's goalkeeping stalwart Rüştü Reçber, a summer signing for Beşiktaş from Istanbul rivals Fenerbahçe, does not recall his visits to France in the 2000/01 and 2004/05 UEFA Champions League with any fondness. On both occasions Fenerbahçe were drawn in a group with Olympique Lyonnais and lost 3-1 and 4-2 away respectively.