Laurent Koscielny says he is looking forward to experiencing the "crazy" atmosphere at Stade Velodrome on Wednesday evening.

The French defender has fond childhood memories of watching the likes of Chris Waddle and Jean-Pierre Papin representing Marseille.

Koscielny was part of the Arsenal team that beat Marseille when the sides met in the Champions League two seasons ago and is relishing a return to south France.

"It is the most popular club in France," the defender told Arsenal Player.

"They have a lot of fans everywhere in France. When I was younger, it was the best club for me. People want to watch Marseille games. They had a lot of good players like Chris Waddle. The stadium was amazing. The fans are crazy. It [will be] a good and exciting game when we go to Marseille.

"I think they have a lot of good players. A lot of them are French so I know them. They bought some good players like Payet, a midfielder with a [good] right foot.

"Marseille is always difficult. They have a good atmosphere in the stadium so it will be very difficult. They are strong in defence and they have the quality to [make the] difference up front with Gignac, the France striker. They can score a lot of goals so it will be hard but we have the quality.

"It's important to have the three points quicker. We have a game away and after [we have] two at home so it's important to start well at Marseille."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Nik Brumsack 18 Sep 2013