- Title: SPAIN: SOCCER - Atletico and Marseille prepare for Champions league match
- Date: 1st October 2008
- Summary: MADRID, SPAIN (SEPTEMBER 30, 2008) (REUTERS) WIDE OF OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE TEAM TRAINING IN VICENTE CALDERON STADIUM VARIOUS OF PLAYERS JOGGING OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE CAPTAIN LORIK CANA JOGGING OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE GOALKEEPERS TRAINING OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE COACH ERIK GERETS PREPARING SET FOR TRAINING PLAYERS TRAINING CANA TRAINING GERETS CHECKING THE PITCH WHILE PLAYERS STRETCH
- Embargoed: 16th October 2008 13:00
- Location: Spain
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVABZD2BR087XLITHY13PHKCWONN
- Story Text: Atletico Madrid hope to keep their European record intact against struggling Olympique Marseille as they prepare for their Group D Champions League match.
Atletico Madrid, who last played in the Champions League 11 years ago, prepared at home to face Olympique Marseille for their next match on Wednesday (October 1).
Both teams trained on Tuesday (September 30) at the Vicente Calderon stadium where they will play in a Group D Champions League clash.
Atletico are unbeaten in their last 10 European home games in which they have kept seven clean sheets. By contrast Marseille have lost their last four Champions League matches and have not won any of the last five.
Marseille coach Erik Gerets said keeping the ball will be essential against the Spanish high-flyers.
"In principle I would say that this is important but after I checked PSV ball possession rate, I was even more sure that it is important to have more possession than our opponents. The key thing will be that when we lose the ball, we recovered it as soon as possible because theuy are a machine that goes 100 kilometres per hour and use the space given by the opponent in a perfect way," he said.
Atletico's return to the Champions League was marked by a victory against PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
Argentinean striker Sergio Aguero, scored two goals against the Dutch side, whilst Maniche scored a third to give the club the victory.
The 20-year-old, nicknamed "Kun" after a Japanese comic book hero, Aguero was the Spanish side's top scorer in the league last season as they finished fourth in the Primera Liga to enter the Champions League third qualifying round.
He missed the first leg of that tie which they lost 1-0 away to Schalke 04 last month, helping Argentina to win gold at the Beijing Olympics instead.
Coch Javier Aguirre said Atletico must make the most of their home advantage.
"We are playing at home and have the obligation to go and try to win the match. We cannot mess around. I think everything will be all right. The support of the people and the good emotional state of the squad make me believe we can win it."
Atletico have not lost at home to a French club in four previous meetings. They drew their last one 2-2 with Racing Lens in the 1999-2000.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None