CSKA Moskva need home improvement for Benfica visit

CSKA Moskva are level in second in Group A despite losing both home games so far, and have a chance to improve that record against bottom side Benfica.

CSKA Moskva coach Viktor Goncharenko
CSKA Moskva coach Viktor Goncharenko ©Getty Images

PFC CSKA Moskva will need to improve their home form as SL Benfica come to Russia on the penultimate day of action in Group A.

• CSKA were 2-1 winners away to Benfica on matchday one and are level with FC Basel 1893 on six points – six above their Portuguese opponents and six behind section leaders Manchester United FC.

The Russian side will be out if they lose and Basel beat Manchester United, due to an inferior head-to-head with the Swiss outfit.

• Benfica must win and hope Basel lose to stay in contention for a top-two place. If they fail to win they will be confirmed in fourth.

2005 UEFA Cup final highlights
2005 UEFA Cup final highlights

Previous meetings
• The teams were paired in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup round of 32, CSKA winning 3-1 on aggregate and going on to lift the trophy with victory against Sporting Clube de Portugal in the Lisbon final.

• CSKA were 2-0 first-leg victors in a game played in Krasnodar, thanks to goals from Vasili Berezutski (12) and Vágner Love (60). Sergei Ignashevich put CSKA in complete command with a 49th-minute goal in Lisbon, although substitute Azar Karadas ensured Benfica avoided defeat on the night.

• The line-ups at the Kuban Stadium on 17 February 2005 were:
CSKA: Akinfeev, Ignashveich, A Berezutski, V Berezutski, Rahimić, Odiah, Aldonin, Daniel Carvalho,  Krasić (Laizāns 81), Gusev (Shershun 79), Vágner Love (Samondin 90+2).
Benfica: Quim, Luisão, Petit, Geovanni (Mantorras 73), Alcides, Manuel Dos Santos, Nuno Assis (Karadas 59), Manuel Fernandes, João Pereira, Simão, Nuno Gomes (Bruno Aguiar).

• That remains Benfica's only two-legged defeat against Russian opposition in UEFA competition – they have won all five of the other ties, most recently against FC Zenit two years ago. They have lost four of their five group meetings with Russian sides though.

Match background

CSKA Moskva
• CSKA have lost both home games in Group A, going down 4-1 at home to Manchester United on matchday two and 2-0 against Basel in the third round of fixtures. 

• CSKA won their first five European fixtures this term, the first four without conceding a goal, including triumphing 2-1 at Benfica on matchday one; however, the Manchester United result was their heaviest home defeat in European competition. 

Highlights: Benfica 1-2 CSKA Moskva
Highlights: Benfica 1-2 CSKA Moskva

• Their 2-0 first-leg victory at AEK Athens FC in the third qualifying round ended CSKA's run of ten European matches without a win (D4 L6).

• The victory at Benfica was their first in the UEFA Champions League group stage since a 3-2 home win against PSV Eindhoven on 30 September 2015; subsequently their record had been D4 L6.

• Victories against AEK (1-0) and BSC Young Boys (2-0) in this season's qualifying rounds are CSKA's only successes in their last nine home European matches (D3 L4). They have won all four away games this season.

• CSKA have lost all three games against Portuguese visitors in Moscow, and have yet to score in those matches. Their only home wins against a club from that country were a 3-1 win against Sporting CP in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League play-offs and that 2005 triumph over Benfica in Krasnodar.

• CSKA claimed their sole European trophy in Portugal against a Portuguese side, however, beating Sporting CP 3-1 in the 2005 UEFA Cup final in Lisbon.

• The Russian club's overall record against teams from the Portuguese Liga is W4 D3 L5.

• Russian Premier League runners-up in 2016/17, CSKA are in the group stage for an 11th time, and fifth straight season.

• CSKA have come bottom of their group in their last four UEFA Champions League campaigns. In 2016/17, having qualified automatically for the group phase, they finished behind AS Monaco FC, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Tottenham Hotspur FC in their section.

Benfica
• Benfica have lost all four games in Group A and have been defeated in their last five European fixtures stretching back to last season – the worst run in their history.

• The Eagles suffered their biggest UEFA Champions League defeat on matchday two, going down 5-0 at Basel. Their other away game was a 2-0 loss at Manchester United last time out.

• Five successive European defeats equals the worst sequence by a Portuguese team set by FC Paços de Ferreira between 2009 and 2013.

• Benfica have won only three of their last 15 away fixtures in Europe, losing eight. They picked up four points on their travels in last season's group stage.

• Benfica have won only one of their last eight European matches, home and away – the 1-0 victory against Borussia Dortmund in last season's round of 16 first leg.

• Matchday three marked the first time Benfica have lost four successive European games; they had suffered three straight defeats on four previous occasions.

• Prior to matchday one, the Portuguese side's last encounter with Russian opposition came in the 2015/16 round of 16, when they overcame Zenit 1-0 home and 2-1 away.

Benfica have lost on four of their last five visits to Russia, where their record is W2 D2 L4.

• Portuguese double winners in 2016/17, Benfica are in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 13th time – and the eighth season running. The Lisbon outfit got to the quarter-finals in 2015/16 and again progressed from the group stage last year, losing to Dortmund in the round of 16.

Coach and player links
• Viktor Goncharenko was in charge of FC BATE Borisov when they faced Benfica in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage, losing 2-0 away and 2-1 at home.

• Jonas scored in Valencia CF's 4-2 group stage win against Goncharenko's BATE on 7 November 2012.

• Eliseu was a second-half substitute and Pizzi an unused replacement as Portugal beat hosts Russia 1-0 at the FIFA Confederations Cup in Moscow on 21 June. Igor Akinfeev, Viktor Vasin and Aleksandr Golovin were in Russia's line-up.

• Jonas and Mário Fernandes were team-mates at Grêmio FBPA from 2009 to 2011.

• Alan Dzagoev scored past Júlio César when CSKA crashed 3-2 at home to FC Internazionale Milano in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Diogo Gonçalves scored past Pavel Ovchinnikov when Benfica won 2-0 at CSKA in last season's UEFA Youth League quarter-finals.

Match facts

CSKA Moskva
• Pontus Wernbloom, Aleksandr Golovin and Bibras Natcho are all a booking away from a ban.

• CSKA have won only three of their last 11 matches in all competitions, though one of those was the 2-1 victory at FC Basel 1893 on matchday four.

• CSKA were without a win in the Russian Premier League in three matches before Saturday's 4-2 victory at SKA-Energiya Khabarovsk.

• The 2-2 draw at FC Lokomotiv Moskva on 5 November was Igor Akinfeev's 383rd league game for CSKA Moskva – a club record.

• Akinfeev has not kept a clean sheet in 43 outings in the UEFA Champions League proper, since a goalless draw at Arsenal FC on 1 November 2006.

Benfica
• André Almeida and Luisão are available following suspension; Eduardo Salvio is a booking away from a ban.

• Jonas has scored in nine consecutive Liga games, a feat not managed by a Benfica player since Eusébio 52 years ago.

• Jonas has scored 13 league goals in 11 matches this season, four more than any other player in the Portuguese Liga, and needs one more to bring up a century as a Benfica player.

• Haris Seferović played in both legs of the play-off against Northern Ireland, helping Switzerland reach the World Cup finals 1-0 on aggregate.

• Raúl Jiménez scored the only goal as Mexico beat Poland in a friendly on 13 November.

• Andreas Samaris suffered a thigh injury during Greece's 4-1 play-off first leg defeat in Croatia which ruled him out of the return, but he did start Saturday's 2-0 Portuguese Cup last-32 defeat of Vitória FC.

• Filipe Augusto sustained a thigh injury during the warm-up and Alex Grimaldo was injured at Manchester United FC on matchday four. Grimaldo returned on Saturday.

• Ljubomir Fejsa suffered an injury against Vitória SC on 5 November and was withdrawn from the Serbia squad for their two friendly games. He did not feature on Saturday.