Marseille not afraid of Arsenal, says Mandanda

The 28-year-old is aware that qualifying from the Group of Death will be a tough task but is confident that his side can hold their own against the Gunners
Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda says his side do not fear Arsenal, whom they face in their Champions League opener on Wednesday.

The two sides were also drawn together in the 2011-12 edition of the tournament when the Gunners claimed four points from two games against OM and topped the group.

However, Mandanda is adamant that his side's desire to succeed will serve them in good stead against the north Londoners.

"We are not afraid. We have to show desire and ambition," Mandanda told reporters.

"We know the significance of the first match and it will be important to have a good start, even if this game is not decisive. We used to have difficulties in our first games in Europe, but this is a new season and we need to start well and perform."

Mandanda went on to say that he and his team-mates were eager to make up for lost time, having failed to qualify for the competition last term.

"We were frustrated last year when we did not play Champions League football, so we are looking forward to returning," he continued.

"These games are magnificent to play in and we are delighted to be back in this competition. We missed it.

"We want to win, but we know we will be up against a great team. We are in a difficult group; we knew it would be complicated."