Match preview: United v CSKA Moscow

Match preview: United v CSKA Moscow

Match preview: United v CSKA Moscow

State of play: Manchester United’s 1-1 draw away at CSKA Moscow a fortnight ago leaves both sides in joint-second place in Champions League Group B on four points. The pair are two points behind leaders Wolfsburg, who beat bottom side PSV Eindhoven 2-0 on matchday three.

Form guide: Louis van Gaal’s men are in need of goals, having played out three consecutive 0-0 draws since the trip to Russia – against Manchester City, Middlesbrough (before losing in a penalty shoot-out) and Crystal Palace. The Reds remain well placed in Europe and, if the goals flow again on Tuesday, a place in the knockout stages of Europe’s elite competition will be within reach. CSKA extended their lead at the top of the Russian Premier League to nine points after beating FC Ufa 2-0 at home on Saturday. Ex-Red Zoran Tosic scored in that game, having also netted three days earlier as Leonid Slutsky’s side overcame FC Ural 2-1 at home to reach the Russian Cup quarter-finals. CSKA’s other encounter since the first game against United was a goalless league draw with Terek Grozny.

Latest team news: Phil Jones is available after missing the Palace game, but Antonio Valencia, Memphis Depay and James Wilson are all likely to be sidelined, while Paddy McNair and Luke Shaw are definite absentees. For CSKA, Vasili Berezutski is still out with the muscle injury he sustained against United on matchday three and Roman Eremenko (groin) is doubtful.

View from the dressing room: “We have two consecutive games at Old Trafford and this one is almost a final. CSKA have the same points as us, therefore it is vital to win if we want to top our group. With the support of our fans we hope to enjoy another great Champions League night in the Theatre of Dreams.” – Juan Mata.

Sub-plot: United are still seeking a first home win against Russian opposition, after three draws. The Reds were held at Old Trafford in UEFA Cup first-round defeats by both Torpedo Moscow (0-0 in 1992/93) and Rotor Volgograd (2-2 in 1995/96), and needed two late goals to draw 3-3 with CSKA on their last visit in November 2009.

Danger man: “Both Seydou Doumbia and Ahmed Musa are quick and powerful players when on the counter-attack and we need to keep a close eye on them so we don’t end up regretting it. We have to perform at our best – we’re at home in front of our own fans and so we have to take the initiative.” – Marcos Rojo.

Betting: Our official betting partner Marathonbet are offering 27/50 for United to win and 17/5 on a draw, while CSKA are 6/1 to come away with the victory. To get the latest odds, and sign up with Marathonbet, visit manutd.com/bet.

Rivals watch: Wolfsburg travel to PSV Eindhoven in the other Group B fixture on Tuesday night. In the other games involving Barclays Premier League clubs, Manchester City visit Sevilla, Arsenal travel to Bayern Munich and Chelsea host Dynamo Kiev.

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