Real Madrid - CSKA Moscow Preview: Russian outfit look to spring surprise at the Bernabeu
The Spanish giants hold a slender advantage from the first leg in Moscow, but will be wary of Leonid Slutsky's side, who have never lost to Spanish opposition
By Karthick Arvinth
Arbeloa, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo
Ozil, Kaka, Ronaldo
A Bere'ski, V Bere'ski, Igna'vich, Schennikov
Dzagoev, Honda, Musa
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema could get the nod in attack for Wednesday's crunch Champions League last-16 decider against CSKA Moscow, after overcoming a groin problem and appearing as a late substitute in the win over Real Betis during the weekend.
Portuguese full-back Fabio Coentrao (groin) is unlikely to be fit in time for the clash, while Angel Di Maria (thigh) is still sidelined.
CSKA have been handed a boost with the return to fitness of playmaker Keisuke Honda, who overcame a thigh injury to start Friday's 1-1 draw against Dinamo Moscow.
Pavel Mamaev and Kirill Nababkin are both available again after serving one-match suspensions, while long-term absentees Igor Akinfeev and Mark Gonzalez remain sidelined.
The Russian side need to score to have any chance of progressing, as Cristiano Ronaldo's strike in the first leg in Moscow gives the Spaniards the advantage on the away goals rule.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Real Madrid have won 30 of their last 34 games in all competitions, finding the net in every match during that sequence.
- Los Blancos have lost just one of the nine home fixtures against Russian opponents, going down 3-1 to Spartak Moscow in the 1990-91 European Cup quarter-final.
- Cristiano Ronaldo (pictured right) has netted nine times in his last six appearances for Madrid.
- CSKA Moscow have lost just one of their last 12 away matches in all competitions, winning three and drawing eight.
- The Russian side are unbeaten against Spanish opposition in six outings (W3, D3).
- Should CSKA win against Madrid, it would represent their 50th victory in Uefa club competitions.
|Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|Sign up today with Coral and get a £50 FREE bet - no strings attached!|
|Sign up today with BetVictor and get a £25 FREE BET!|
|Sign up with Betway for an exclusive bet £10 get £20 free bet!|
Top 3 Predictions
Real Madrid CF 3-0 PFC CSKA Moskva
- 16.54 %
Real Madrid CF 4-0 PFC CSKA Moskva
- 14.18 %
Real Madrid CF 3-1 PFC CSKA Moskva
- 9.78 %
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Mar 14, 2012||Real Madrid CF 4 - PFC CSKA Moskva 1|
|UEFA Champions League (UCL)||Feb 21, 2012||PFC CSKA Moskva 1 - Real Madrid CF 1|
|Real Madrid CF|
|Dec 7, 2013||CD Olímpic de Xàtiva 0 - Real Madrid CF 0||ESPC|
|Nov 30, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Valladolid 0||LIGA|
|Nov 27, 2013||Real Madrid CF 4 - Galatasaray 1||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||Almeria 0 - Real Madrid CF 5||LIGA|
|Nov 9, 2013||Real Madrid CF 5 - Real Sociedad 1||LIGA|
|-||Sekou Jabateh Oliseh||Midfielder|
The Portuguese winger is a man in form and has found the back of the net in each of his last six games for Madrid. After Lionel Messi's five-goal haul for rivals Barcelona last week against Leverkusen, the 2008 Ballon d'Or winner will be extra motivated to extend his scoring streak and fire Los Blancos to the quarter-finals of the Champions League in style.
The Japan international made an immediate impact when brought on as a substitute in the first leg by giving the Russian side a foothold in midfield, and he also set up a goal for Seydou Doumbia during the weekend against Dinamo Moscow. The playmaker's fitness will be a concern for Slutsky, though, as he is yet to complete a full 90 minutes on the pitch since returning from a long-term knee injury.
Pontus Wernbloom's late leveller in Moscow gives CSKA hope, but Real Madrid were by far the better side in the first leg, and their scintillating form this season suggests they should have little trouble dispatching the Russian side at the Bernabeu.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed