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Army Men spoiling for United fight

Published: Wednesday 21 October 2009, 8.44CET
PFC CSKA Moskva defender Sergei Ignashevich said the Army Men were in "fighting mood" ahead of Manchester United FC's Group B visit, noting that the English champions had "weak points".
by Mikhail Sipovich
from Moscow
Army Men spoiling for United fight
Sergei Ignashevich knows home wins are the key for CSKA ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

CSKA MoskvaMan. United

Goals scored13
 
21
Attempts on target42
 
71
Attempts off target67
 
72
Corners33
 
43
Offsides8
 
39
Fouls committed154
 
139
Yellow cards25
 
15
Red cards2
 
2
 
Published: Wednesday 21 October 2009, 8.44CET

Army Men spoiling for United fight

PFC CSKA Moskva defender Sergei Ignashevich said the Army Men were in "fighting mood" ahead of Manchester United FC's Group B visit, noting that the English champions had "weak points".

PFC CSKA Moskva defender Sergei Ignashevich said the Army Men were in "fighting mood" ahead of Manchester United FC's Group B visit, noting that the English champions had "weak points".

'Maximum effort'
The 30-year-old Russian international is confident his side can still progress to the first knockout round after taking three points from their first two games, and said: "We are in a fighting mood because maximum points at home would pretty much guarantee progress from the group, so we put in maximum effort in every home game."

Unfamiliar surface
However, last season's competition runners-up United are a tough proposition, even on the artificial pitch at the Luzhniki Stadium. "United are a very experienced side, but they have weak points," said Ignashevich. "They are less confident and aggressive away from home. Aside from home support, we have another advantage as we are playing on artificial turf.

Unusual bounce
"Several United players played on this pitch against Russia for England, and they know how different it is," he added. "We are used to it and for us the switch from natural to artificial turf is not that hard. Tomorrow, with low autumn temperatures, the ball will be slick and the bounce off the surface will be quicker than normal."

Giggs missed
The absence of Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs for the match may further play into CSKA's hands, though Ignashevich was sorry that the Welsh winger would not be in Moscow. "I like Giggs a lot as a player," the centre-back explained. "The fact that he's played over 800 matches for his club deserves special respect."

Strength in depth
He was not convinced, however, that Rooney's absence would take the edge off United. "He is one of their key attackers, but they have enough cover for him," said Ignashevich, who pinpointed three other potential threats. "Dimitar Berbatov recently scored three goals for his national team so he will come to Moscow in a good mood, while Anderson and Nani [who scored on his last visit to the Luzhniki in 2006] can cause big problems."

Last updated: 21/10/09 20.44CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000028/match=2000454/prematch/focus/index.html#army+men+spoiling+united+fight

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