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CSKA ready for Porto challenge

Published: Sunday 12 November 2006, 21.45CET
PFC CSKA Moskva are riding high but FC Porto are hot on their heels and have every chance of keeping their own qualification hopes alive on Matchday 5.

Tournament statistics

CSKA MoskvaPorto

Goals scored4
Attempts on target19
Attempts off target25
Fouls committed96
Yellow cards15
Red cards0
Published: Sunday 12 November 2006, 21.45CET

CSKA ready for Porto challenge

PFC CSKA Moskva are riding high but FC Porto are hot on their heels and have every chance of keeping their own qualification hopes alive on Matchday 5.

It is all to play for in Group G with three teams divided by a point. PFC CSKA Moskva are in pole position, holding a narrow advantage over both Arsenal FC and FC Porto and will be looking to put themselves out of reach of the Portuguese title holders as the two sides meet in the Russian capital. At the same time Arsenal host Hamburger SV.

CSKA confident
• Thanks to Arsenal's failure to accept a number of chances in their contest three weeks ago, CSKA were able to retain top spot with a 0-0 draw in north London, this after they had upset last season's UEFA Champions League runners-up with a 1-0 victory on home soil.

• With a game at Hamburg - who are point-less after their first four fixtures – to come on 6 December, Valeri Gazzaev's side are primed to improve on their previous two participations in Europe's premier club competition and gain a qualifying berth for the first time. They finished third in the 2004/05 group stage and fourth in 1992/93.

• CSKA faced these opponents in Portugal on Matchday 1 and gave an indication of their capabilities with a hard-fought 0-0 draw. Again they came up against a team wasteful in front of goal.

Portuguese trio
• When CSKA and Porto met two seasons ago in the UEFA Champions League group stage, the Moscow team lost 1-0 at home with Benni McCarthy scoring for the defending champions. It was the season that saw CSKA face all three of Portugal's major forces – the only season before this one when they have taken on Portuguese opposition.

• After bowing out of the UEFA Champions League group stage they then went into the UEFA Cup where in the Round of 32 they beat SL Benfica 2-0 at home before holding out for a 1-1 scoreline away. They then progressed to the final – ironically held in Lisbon. There they made light of any perceived advantage Sporting Clube de Portugal had from playing in front of their home crowd to win 3-1 and become the first Russian side to lift a UEFA club prize.

Two-time winners
• Porto, twice winners of the European Champion Clubs' Cup, are hoping to improve on their last two campaigns in this competition. They were dismissed in the first knockout round in 2004/05 and last season finished bottom of their section after just one win and two draws from their six games.

• On 1 November they moved on to seven points, the same as Arsenal, by defeating Hamburg 3-1 in Germany. A spectacular Lucho González strike just before half-time put the visitors in the driving seat and Lisandro López doubled the lead after an hour. Rafael van der Vaart's header kept Hamburg's dreams alive, but the last word came from Porto substitute Bruno Moraes.

• Porto's previous away game in the section ended with a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal. Their game with CSKA two seasons ago was the only time they have visited Russia in a UEFA club competition fixture.

Last updated: 19/11/06 19.06CET