CSKA Moscow vs Manchester United
Wednesday 21 October 2009, Luzhniki Stadium
UEFA Champions League Football
Kick-Off: 17:30 UK (18:30 CET)
Life is good for Manchester United as they sit atop of the table in the Premier League and at the top of Group B in the Champions League ahead of this CSKA Moscow vs Man Utd match on Wednesday night.
Man Utd have been steady in recent weeks and have won both of their Group B matches despite not overly impressing.
In the opening match against Besiktas, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men required a late goal from Paul Scholes to seal the victory, while in the second match, Man United had to come from behind to beat a feisty Wolfsburg 2-1.
Wayne Rooney, who has been in fantastic form, is doubtful for this Manchester United vs. CSKA Moscow fixture with an injury. But with the likes of Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen available, Man U has more than enough striking power to cause problems to the CSKA defence.
Juande Ramos has done a decent job for CSKA Moscow since taking over from Zico, though with five games remaining in the Russian Premier League, the army club will have to finish strongly if they are to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Focusing on Wednesday night’s clash with Manchester United, CSKA Moscow find themselves in a respectable position after two games played.
Their most recent victory over Besiktas was much needed in their attempt to stay in the hunt for advancement.
Gone are the days when Wagner Love’s blue braids led the way up front for CSKA Moskva, but with Tomas Necid and Alan Dzagoev in attack, CSKA still pose a real threat to opposing teams, even against the likes of Man U.
The cold weather in Russia usually makes playing conditions less than ideal for visiting clubs, and if the hosts are able to capture anything from Wednesday night’s CSKA vs Manchester United meeting, the Russians would need to be in good shape at the halfway point.
There are no previous head-to-head Man Utd v CSKA Moscow meetings, but the Russian side holds an impressive record against Premier League sides at home, with two wins and one loss.
Traveling to Russia has proven to be anything other than pleasurable for foreign teams in recent years. The cold weather and lousy pitch conditions, combined with the long travel, play into the hands of the Russian teams.
Still, with the amount of class United possess, one would have to give them the slight edge over CSKA Moskva heading in to the match.
CSKA Moscow vs. Man Utd Prediction: CSKA Moscow 0 - Man U 1