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As befits a player who has not missed a minute of football for four months, Sascha Riether is well prepared ahead of VfL Wolfsburg's crunch game at PFC CSKA Moskva, with the German side just a point away from the first knockout round.
Wolfsburg sit three points clear of CSKA in Group B knowing that they will qualify if they avoid defeat at the Luzhniki Stadium with a win giving them a chance of pipping Manchester United FC to top spot in the section. For now, though, Riether has eyes only on the first goal. "Our main focus is to reach the last 16, and we can do that against CSKA," he said, before adding a note of caution about opponents whom they beat 3-1 on Matchday 1. "The first match against CSKA was Wolfsburg's debut in the Champions League and I remember the atmosphere around it, but I also remember CSKA were quite impressive."
The converted right-back has done his homework on the threat the hosts pose, noting that "CSKA's main danger man is Miloš Krasić – a very quick attacker", and casting aside any concerns about the Luzhniki's artificial surface. "We came here early in order to get used to it. We have similar pitches in Germany and I've played on them before," he said. "The ball moves faster and we should expect a pacy match, but this can be to our advantage as we like to commit men forward."
Ready for anything
Riether, 26, is confident his side are ready for the challenge as they look to make their maiden group-stage campaign a successful one, adding: "Moscow is an impressive town and the Luzhniki is a huge stadium, but even if it's full and it spurs on CSKA, we will be ready for the pressure."
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