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Franck Ribery can’t wait to take to the pitch at the Stade Velodrome as he makes his first return to Marseille since leaving for Bayern Munich.

Ribery will be spearheading Bayern’s bid to reach the Champions League final in their own stadium this May, and his motivation for Wednesday night’s quarter-final first leg is two, if not three-fold.

As well as the prospect of featuring in his first final after missing the 2010 defeat to Inter Milan through suspension, Ribery cannot wait to play again in front of his former fans.

And, at the same time, he knows there are plenty of critics he can silence with a stirring performance at his old stomping ground.

“There are certain people around who don’t stop criticising me,” said the winger, who was made one of the main scapegoats in France for Les Bleus poor showing at the 2010 World Cup.

“Whenever I come to France, I don’t even have time to switch on the television and they are criticising me already.”

According to the 28-year-old, the fans in France who do not follow the Bundesliga are missing out on the real Ribery.

“I am not my normal self when I play for France, I am completely different,” he told L’Equipe.

“I don’t know if it is a mental thing.

“Things should not happen like that, they should happen like here in Munich. Everything is done to make me feel good here.

“In Germany, I am happy and I express myself on the field.”

Ribery does not know what kind of reception he can expect from the Marseille fans tomorrow.

“I think it will be 50/50,” he said at a press conference. “I now wear a Bayern shirt so I know that the Olympique fans will not be behind me and they will not be chanting my name.”

Ribery’s inspiring form helped Bayern score 20 goals in three matches recently and there is no doubting they will be favourites to progress to the semi-finals.

However, Marseille coach Didier Deschamps, who led Monaco to a surprise Champions League final appearance in 2004, is not writing off his side’s chances.

“We are going to have to raise our game, as a team and as individuals,” he said on his club’s website.

“And we need to have our fans behind us because that could also lift our players to exceed themselves.”

Deschamps feels the pressure is going to be on Bayern and that could also help his side.

“Our aim in the Champions League was to get to the knockout stages, and then we pulled off a shock win against Inter Milan, but they are aiming to go all the way to play the final in their own stadium,” he said.

“We are going to have to concentrate, but we can also be relaxed.”

Deschamps may make a surprise in goal by choosing his third-choice goalkeeper to replace the suspended Steve Mandanda.

Elinton Andrade, who has played only eight times in three seasons for Marseille, could be preferred over Gennaro Bracigliano, who disappointed in last weekend’s domestic cup exit to lower-league opponents Quevilly.

Bastian Schweinsteiger has flown out to the Cote d’Azur with Bayern, although he will face a late fitness test and is not expected to figure.

Only Breno and Daniel van Buyten are otherwise out for Bayern.

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