CSKA Moscow and Manchester united will look to consolidate on their last victory in the champions league against Deutch champions PSV Eindhoven and German side Wolfsburg respectively when they engage each other at the Arena Khimki Stadium tomorrow.
The tie is delicately poised as both teams are tied on the same points with the same number of goals scored and number of goals conceded. Both teams also won at the weekend with CSKA Moscow winning 3-2 against FC Ural Yekaterinburg while Manchester United defeated their boggy team Everton at Goodison park, a ground they have no won in their last 3 visits thanks to goals from Morgan Schneiderlin, Anders Herrera and skipper Wayne “Wazza” Rooney.
In Leonid Slutsky, CSKA Moscow have a coach that loves to play fast and robust kind of attacking football especially while playing at home in the Arena Khimki Stadium. Their course is further boosted with the calibre of fast attacking talent at their disposal.
Ahmed Musa, the fast pacy winger from Nigeria has been in a rich vein of form and goal scoring ability and can use his pace to torment the United backline. Former Manchester United fluke Zoran Tosic has found his rhythm in these CSKA Moscow side and he is an integral part of the CSKA Moscow set up,putting in some eye catching and mesmerising display. His goals,assist and trickery has made the team a force to reckon with in the Russian league.
Seydou Doumbia, on loan from Italian side AS Roma is a handful for opposition defence with his area ability and good pace and can finish clinically if given the chance. The Ivorian striker got a brace on match day 2 against Phillip Cocu’s tutored PSV Eindhoven side and will be looking to add to his tally when when the Red devils come visiting.
29 years old goal keeper Igor Akinfeev was a product of the CSKA Moscow academy and is a reliable hand for the Russian based side for years and he is building a reputation for himself as one of the best shot stoppers around.
The Red devils approach this game in an indifferent form, just before the international break United were blown away by Arsenal in the space of breath taking 20minutes only for the team to travel to Everton and put up a convincing performance and winning 3 nil.
United will be looking to get something out of this game and will be hoping inspirational skipper Rooney comes to the party. Rooney bagged an hat trick of goals in the qualifying rounds against Belgium champions Club Brugge and United will need such performances from their skipper if they are to go far in this season’s competition.
Anthony Martial has proved that he can rub shoulders with the big game players and that he can handle the pressure that comes with being the most expensive teenage footballer in world football with some breath taking displays and goals to cap it up. Manchester United are reaping the benefit and faith shown in mercurial midfielder Juan Mata. Mata’s vision,creativity and potency in front of goal as shown against Wolfsburg is making United a threat to any side they line up against.
United were on the verge of loosing David Degea to Real Madrid in the last transfer window but the deal failed to materialise at the last minute and the Spanish goal keeper went on to extend his contract with the Red devils and this is a huge boost to Manchester United.
Chris smalling is a player worth mentioning, the defender is in the form of his life and is having his best spell as a United player. His presence, sense of awareness and to win and retain possession has made him one of the best defender in the premiership.
CSKA Moscow would be missing the services of Vasil Berezutski and Bilbras Natkho through thigh injuries
United don’t have too many new injury worries, Bastian Schweinsteiger is a doubtful for the encounter while Antonio V alencia is in line for contention while long term absentees include Luke shaw,Paddy Mcnair and Ashley Young are definitely out.
CSKA Moscow have never defeated Manchester United in the UEFA Champions league. The two teams met twice during the group stage of the 2009/10 season.
United won 0-1 in Russia through a Antonio Valencia strike and the reverse feature was a 6 goal thriller where United scored twice in the final 6minutes through a Paul Scholes header and an Antonio Valencia deflected shot to give United a share of the spoil.
Igor Akin and Basil Berezutski both represented CSKA Moscow when the two teams last met in the 2009/10 season while Wayne Rooney and Antonio Valencia also featured for the Red.
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