1. Marseille are the French champions but are currently 5th in Ligue 1 after winning just 7 of their 17 games this season. Still, that only puts them 4 points behind league leaders and our former CL opponents, Lille.
2. Their highest scorer this season is Loic Remy, with 6 league goals. He joined Marseille at the start of the season from Nice. Their second highest scorer is 29-year-old midfielder Lucho Gonzalez from Argentina, with 5 league goals.
3. Gabriel Heinze plays in their defence and will be making his first appearance at Old Trafford since his bitter departure in 2007. He couldn’t get in the team when Patrice Evra joined, so after trying to get a move to Liverpool, United sold him to Real Madrid at a profit. This is his second season at Marseille and the 32-year-old has made over 50 appearances for them.
4. Marseille won the Champions League in 1993 after beating AC Milan 1-0 in the final. The Milan side included Frank Rijkaard, Marco van Basten, Roberto Donadoni and a 24-year-old Paolo Maldini. Basile Boli was the goalscorer, who had headbutted Stuart Pearce in Euro 92 the year before.
5. Their manager is Didier Deschamps, who played for Chelsea, Juventus and Marseille in his career. Liverpool approached him in the summer just gone to replace Rafa Benitez, but he turned them down. He won the title in his first year in charge at Marseille, their first in 18 years. After being linked with a return to Juve, who he guided to promotion the season before, Deschamps signed a contract that will keep him at the club until 2012.
6. Marseille were in the same group as Chelsea, finishing 3 points behind them. They scored an average of 2 goals per game.
7. United were in the same group as Marseille in the 99-00 season. We beat them 2-1 at home thanks to late goals from Andy Cole and Paul Scholes. At their place we lost 1-0, with William Gallas scoring.
8. Eric Cantona is from Marseille and played for his hometown club between 1988 and 1991, although was sent out on loan twice. During a friendly for Marseille during his first season, he booted the ball in to the ground and ripped off his shirt and threw it to the ground after being substituted. He was banned for a month.
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