Monday, February 20, 2012

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21.02. (Tue) 18:00 CSKA Moskva - Real

Seydou Doumbia - CSKA Moscow (Getty Images)
Getty Images



A Bere'ski, V Bere'ski, Igna'vich, Schennikov
Wernbloom, Aldonin
Oliseh, Dzagoev, Musa

Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo
Khedira, Alonso
Ozil, Kaka, Ronaldo

CSKA Moscow have some key personnel missing Tuesday's Champions League last-16 first-leg clash with Real Madrid, including goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev (torn knee ligaments), Mark Gonzalez (hip) and playmaker Keisuke Honda (knee).

Latvian midfielder Aleksandrs Cauna, who underwent surgery in mid-January after breaking his toe, is also ruled out, while Pavel Mamaev and Kirill Nababkin serve one-match suspensions.

The absence of several established players could force CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky to hand competitive debuts to January signings Pontus Wernbloom and Ahmed Musa.

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho will be deprived of the services of Angel Di Maria, who aggravated a leg injury during Saturday's win over Racing Santander.

Also sitting out the trip to the Russian capital is Lassana Diarra, who is nursing a back problem, while Hamit Altintop is sidelined with a calf injury. Karim Benzema is likely to retain his place in attack ahead of Gonzalo Higuain.


  • CSKA Moscow, who are currently enjoying their three-month winter break in Russia, have not played a competitive match since December 7, when they beat Italian giants Inter 2-1 at San Siro in the group stages.
  • The Russian side have never faced Real Madrid before, but are unbeaten against Spanish opposition in five outings (W3 D2).
  • Should CSKA win against Real, it would represent their 50th victory in Uefa club competitions.
  • Real Madrid have won 27 of their last 30 matches in all competitions, scoring in every game in that sequence.
  • Los Merengues are the only side in the competition with a 100 per cent record and boast the best defence with just two goals conceded.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured) has converted 23 successive penalty kicks for Real since failing against Almeria in December 2009.
Despite their spate of injuries and suspensions, CSKA are not to be taken lightly at home as they will be more accustomed to playing on the artificial turf of the Luzhniki stadium and the sub-zero Moscow night. The visitors have far too much quality in their ranks, though, and should have enough to secure a win.
Editor's Prediction
CSKA Moscow 1-2 Real Madrid