CSKA Moscow vs Manchester United: Preview, Team News and Likely Playing XI

Manchester United will be looking to take charge of Group B in their Champions League match against CSKA Moscow on Wednesday night. The Red Devils bounced back from their opening-game defeat to PSV Eindhoven with a 2-1 win over Wolfsburg and would want to continue that winning in the Russian capital. On a wet night in the Russian capital seven years ago, Rooney and his team-mates defeated Chelsea on penalties to clinch United’s third European Cup.

Manchester United celebrating their UEFA Champions League win
Manchester United celebrating their UEFA Champions League win

Leonid Slutsky’s men produced a strong first-half display in their last game against PSV as they raced out into a 3-0 lead, before PSV rallied in the second half and got two goals, but the Russian side managed to hold on for a narrow victory. The CSKA Moscow lead at the top of the Russian league is not a telling one, but they will be pleased to be 5 points clear as they look to win the title again. The club is in good form at home and are unbeaten in their last 13 contests in all competitions at the Arena Khimki, with their last defeat coming at the hands of rivals Dynamo Moscow in April. Defensively they have had problems of late conceding at least two goals in 4 of their last 5 games at home in all competition. CSKA are likely to be without Vasili Berezutski with a thigh injury and Bibras Natkho due to a concussion. We might see the same side that defeated PSV last time.

CSKA Moscow vs Manchester United
CSKA Moscow vs Manchester United

Van Gaal’s men returned to winning ways after the international break to record a thumping 3-0 victory at in-form Everton last weekend.  Other than the defeat to Arsenal at the start of October, United have been doing well off late. The Red Devils got off to the worst possible start in the competition when they were defeated by PSV. In the next game, United came back from one nil down to defeat Wolfsburg at home. LVG might not want to reserve some energy in Moscow since United have their first Manchester derby of the season this weekend. Manchester United have won 5 of their last 6 games in all competition with the exception being the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal. Antonio Valencia will return to the United squad he missed the trip to Everton. Bastian Schweinsteiger is a doubt for the match due to a knee injury while Ashley Young and Paddy McNair are out due to calf and abdominal injuries respectively.

Predicted CSKA Moscow line-up: Akinfeev; Fernandes, Nababkin, Ignashevich, Schennikov; Eremenko, Wernbloom, Tosic, Dzagoev; Musa and Doumbia

Predicted Manchester United line-up: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Jones, Blind; Carrick, Schneiderlin; Mata, Rooney, Herrera and Martial

Manchester United
Manchester United

Predicted scoreline: 1-1

Key stats

CSKA are unbeaten in their last three Champions League games at home (W1 D2), a first for them in the competition.

Five of Manchester Utd’s seven games against Russian teams in European competition have ended in a draw (W1 L1).

Leonid Slutsky’s men are top of the Russian Premier League and are still unbeaten this season after 12 matches.

Written by Anurag Singh

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