Sergei Ignashevich has been forced to withdraw from PFC CSKA Moskva's squad to face Hamburger SV in Wednesday's Group G decider after failing to recover from a knee injury.
It is a huge blow for the Russian champions who must win in Hamburg and hope that Arsenal FC and FC Porto do not draw the other Group G fixture if they are to earn a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. The defender sustained the injury against FC Zenit St. Petersburg on 5 November and was forced to sit out his side's 2-0 loss against Porto on Matchday 5.
Coach Valeri Gazzaev had hoped the 27-year-old Russian international would recover in time to feature, but after returning from the club's training camp in Marbella it became clear he would not be able to play. Gazzaev's options have already been restricted by suspension to Brazilian striker Vágner Love and Bosnia-Herzegovnian midfielder Elvir Rahimić.
Twenty-year-old Ivan Taranov could come in for Rahimić with Ivica Olić replacing Vágner Love. Deividas Šemberas will play in the centre of defence in place of Ignashevich as he did against Porto. Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev is expected to wear the captain's armband in Ignashevich's absence.
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