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A Guide To Chelsea’s Champions League Opponents

Ok, so what we know is that we’re in Group F alongside Marseille, Spartak Moscow and MŠK Žilina but what do we actually know about these clubs? Well, here’s a quick rundown on all 3:

Marseille

Olympique de Marseille play in Ligue 1 and have spent most of their history in the top tier of French football although found themselves relegated in 1994 over a bribery scandal. Chelsea played Marseille during the second group stage in 1999/00, winning 1-0 at home and losing 1-0 away.

Manager: Didier Deschamps

Stadium: Stade Velodrome (60,031 capacity)

Nickname: l’OM

Honours: UEFA Champions League winners 1992/93, UEFA Intertoto Cup winners 2005, Ligue 1 winners 9 times including last season, Coupe de France winners 10 times.

Random: Before the start of each home game the song Jump by Van Halen is played. When a goal is scored by Marseille in their home matches the song Come with Me by Puff Daddy is played.


Spartak Moscow

FC Spartak Moscow play in the Russian Premier League and whilst we’ve never played them before, we have played at their Stadium, losing there to Manchester United in the 2008 Champions League final. Spartak have reached the semi-finals of all three European club competitions.

Manager: Valery Karpin

Stadium: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow (78,360 capacity)

Nickname: ‘Meat’, ‘The Red-Whites’.

Honours: Soviet Championship winners 12 times, Russian Championship winners 9 times, Soviet Cup winners 10 times, Russian Cup winners 3 times.

Random: They are nicknamed ‘Meat’ because in the Soviet era the club was owned by the Collective Production Farms.


MŠK Žilina

MŠK Žilina is a Slovak football club based in the town of Zilina. They play in the Slovak Superliga and are one of the most successful clubs in this competition, having won five championships since the league’s inception in 1993. Chelsea played Zilina in the first game after Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003. That was a Champions League qualifier, and we won 2-0 away from home. The home leg we won 3-0, going on to reach the semi-finals.

Manager: Pavel Hapal

Stadium: Stadium Pod Dubnom (11,181 capacity)

Nickname: Šošoni

Honours: Slovakian top division winners 5 times and runners-up 3 times since 2003. Slovakian Super Cup winners 4 times, UEFA Cup quarter finalists 1961.

Random: Due to instructions from the previous Chairman, when viewed from above the stadium is designed to look exactly like the Starship Enterprise as his children were huge Star Trek fans.

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