With four wins through their first four Champions League group matches, reigning champions Bayern Munich are already locked in to the knockout stage. All that remains to be settled is whether the German powerhouse will advance as Group D winners or runners-up to Manchester City.
The Bavarians will take on CSKA Moscow in the Russian capital on Wednesday looking to pick up where they left off in Munich two months ago. Bayern thrashed CSKA 3-0 at the Allianz Arena in their previous meeting in mid-September to kick off Group D play.
Since then, Pep Guardiola's squad has been almost flawless, outscoring their opponents 9-1 over their last three Champions League tilts.
Meanwhile, the defending Russian Premier League champions have been eliminated from contention, losing back-to-back matchups with Manchester City to seal the deal.
With the stage set and kick-off right around the corner, let's get you up to speed on everything you need to know for Wednesday's Champions League showdown.
Date: Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Start Time: 12 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. GMT
Where: Arena Khimki, Moscow
Watch: Fox Sports 2 (U.S.), Sky Sports (U.K.)
CSKA Moscow: 17.1 percent
Bayern Munich: 59.4 percent
Draw: 23.5 percent
*Odds according to Bloomberg Sports.
Top Storyline: Bayern Call Up Julian Green
Bayern have called up teenage talent Julian Green for Wednesday's showdown with CSKA. According to ESPN FC's Stephan Uersfeld, the American-born forward will replace Mario Mandzukic, who is currently battling a calf injury.
Green has been lighting it up for Bayern's junior team as of late, scoring 15 goals in 18 matches.
The 18-year-old, who signed a contract with the club that will keep him on the books until 2017, could potentially make his debut for the senior squad in Moscow on Wednesday.
Green recently declined an opportunity to join the United States national team for a training spell this November, instead taking his talents to Germany's Under-19 squad.
Who will win?
Although the match is in Moscow, Bayern are the heavy favourite to win and for obvious reasons. The Bavarians have begun their title defence better than anyone could have anticipated, winning all four of their group matches in convincing fashion.
Therefore, don't expect underdog CSKA to slow Guardiola's juggernaut.
Bayern boast far too many attacking weapons and momentum to stumble. Even a second-tier line-up is capable of churning out three more points. Plus, CSKA have plenty of questions to answer defensively. They've conceded 12 goals in four matches and unless they improve on Wednesday, it won't matter what steps they take in the final third.
CSKA Moscow 1, Bayern Munich 2
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