St Etienne midfielder Batlles backs former club Olympique de Marseille to excel in Champions League

The veteran played at the Stade Velodrome between 2004 and 2006, and feels the athletic ability of Didier Deschamps' side could be important in their tie with Bayern Munich
BY Naim Beneddra

Saint Etienne midfielder Laurent Batlles has stated that Olympique de Marseille have the quality to excel in big games such as the ones in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Didier Deschamps' men will face Bayern Munich in the last eight of Europe's elite club competition, and the 36-year-old feels the Ligue 1 outfit have a good chance of progression.

"I think this is a team that knows how to excel during big games," he told France.

"They also have a very athletic team, which is important. After all, it is not easy to play in the championship and the European Cup at the same level.

"The season is very long, there are many matches. They also have had a lot of injuries," he continued.

Batlles has played a major role in St Etienne's ascendancy to the sixth place in Ligue 1, and with only four points between them and Olympique Lyonnais in third, the veteran is eyeing a European qualification finish.

"There are 10 matches left. We know that the leading teams still have to meet. We too will have direct confrontations with them. We will try to be a troublemaker for the others," he concluded.