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Cana eager to clear Atlético hurdle

Olympique de Marseille captain Lorik Cana suffered highs and lows in the Matchday 1 defeat by Liverpool FC but he is vowing to make amends when his team visit the Vicente Calderón to take on Club Atlético de Madrid.

Lorik Cana (centre) prepares in Madrid
Lorik Cana (centre) prepares in Madrid ©Getty Images

Olympique de Marseille captain Lorik Cana suffered highs and lows when the French team opened their UEFA Champions League campaign with a home defeat by Liverpool FC. Despite that setback, however, the midfielder insists Marseille are ready to go again when they visit the Vicente Calderón to take on Club Atlético de Madrid.

Direct rivals
Cana caused an eruption of joy at the Stade Vélodrome a fortnight ago when he stormed through Liverpool's defence to score the opening goal. Two Steven Gerrard strikes subsequently cut short local celebrations, though, which leaves Marseille looking to avoid what would be a costly defeat in Spain on Wednesday. "We are facing different opponents so we're going to see a different type of game," the 25-year-old Albanian international said. "When you consider that Liverpool are favourites in the group, and we have already lost a home game, it makes this a match a crucial one, particularly because Atlético could be close rivals."

Inexperienced side
With Atlético topping Group D on goal difference after an impressive win at PSV Eindhoven, Marseille know they will have to be at their best to put their own home reverse behind them. "Atlético's stock increased with that 3-0 victory over PSV," the former Paris Saint-Germain FC player said. "They are a very good team who play at a high level and have top players. We're a young side and our lack of experience cost us against Liverpool. Having said that, we're professionals and we need to go out there and use our heads. We can also play well, both in defence and in attack. I don't envisage any problems with this squad."

High emotions
One player who will be looking forward to this fixture for personal reasons is Atlético striker Florent Sinama Pongolle, who has scored four goals in five Liga outings this season. "Playing as a French international against a French team, especially one like Marseille, is something very special," the 23-year-old said. "In some ways I have to try to forget that and concentrate instead on trying to get our points' tally up to six. If we can register that total after two games it'll make our future in the group very promising. We want to qualify so the Marseille match is very important. As well as that, it's our first home game in the UEFA Champions League for a very long time so emotions will be high."