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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 15, 2006

Fernandez wary of Bolton threat

Marseille coach Jean Fernandez believes European rookies Bolton deserve to be respected despite their lack of pedigree compared to their French visitors.

The clubs meet tonight at the Reebok Stadium in the UEFA Cup last-32 first-leg match and the difference between the two is like chalk and cheese.

Marseille have a history of achievement, winning the European Cup in 1993. They have taken the French title 10 times and the French Cup on the same number of occasions.

Bolton, for their part, are at this level for the first time and in uncharted waters.

Fernandez, though, is wary of the opposition.

'Although it is Bolton's first season in Europe, their squad is packed full of experience,' he said.

'We have a lot of experience as a club but for a number of players this is their first season in Europe.

'It will be a real achievement to get some kind of positive result. We need to take every opportunity we get in the game.

'Bolton have a mean defence and have lost once at home. We know this match will be very difficult for us.

'It will be a physical encounter and quite tough. But Bolton play some good football as well.'

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Fabien Barthez, 34, is set to play after getting his career back on track.

He returned to action in October following a six-month ban after spitting at a referee during a friendly match in Casablanca. He was also ordered to carry out community service work.

Fernandez said: 'It has been very difficult for him as he has come out of a long six-month suspension.

'But he looked after himself and took care of himself during the ban.

'He knows how to take control of situations on the pitch and is doing well for us.'

Marseille will be without Sabri Lamouchi (groin) and Jerome Bonnissel (ribs) through injury. Mickael Pagis and Toifilou Maoulida are ineligible while midfielder Andre Luis is sidelined on a domestic matter.

Argentinian stopper Renato Civelli and Ivory Coast defender Abdoulaye Meite are both pushing for a place in the starting line-up.

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