UEFA Europa League - 2020/21 SeasonMatch press kits
|PFC CSKA Moskva||CSKA Arena - MoscowThursday 29 October 2020|
18.55CET (20.55 local time) Group K - Matchday 2
|GNK Dinamo Zagreb|
A first official encounter between two of European football's perennial contenders takes place in the Russian capital as CSKA Moskva and Dinamo Zagreb both seek to add to the point they picked up in UEFA Europa League Group K on Matchday 1.
• CSKA were held 1-1 by Wolfsberg in Austria despite a goal five minutes into his European debut from their new Argentinian striker Adolfo Gaich, while Dinamo played out the only goalless draw of Matchday 1 at home to Feyenoord – despite having a one-man advantage for the last 18 minutes.
• CSKA's only previous pairing with a Croatian club in UEFA competition was a 2008/09 UEFA Cup first round tie against Slaven Koprivnica that they won 3-1 on aggregate (2-1 a, 1-0 h).
• Dinamo's three matches against Russian clubs have all been against CSKA's city rivals Spartak Moskva (W1 L2). The sole visit to Moscow brought a 2-0 second-leg defeat in a 1996/97 UEFA Cup qualifier that eliminated them on away goals after a 3-1 first-leg victory in Zagreb.
• CSKA are back for a UEFA Europa League group stage encore having finished fourth in the Russian Premier League for the second year in a row under head coach Viktor Goncharenko. UEFA Champions League group stage participants for six straight years from 2013/14 to 2018/19, their 2019/20 UEFA Europa League campaign ended early as they finished bottom of their group, on five points, behind Espanyol, Ludogorets and Ferencváros.
• The 2004/05 UEFA Cup winners collected 16 points in their only other UEFA Europa League group stage adventure, in 2010/11, to top their section and progress to the round of 16, and in 2017/18, having finished third in their UEFA Champions League group, they made it to the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, where they were knocked out by Arsenal.
• CSKA won all three of their Moscow fixtures in that 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage, but registered just one point at home last season and are now on a five-match winless European run in the Russian capital (D1 L4) since a famous 1-0 win against holders Real Madrid on Matchday 2 of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League.
• Dinamo romped to their 21st Croatian title last season, completing a hat-trick of 1. HNL triumphs. They also reached the UEFA Champions League group stage for the seventh time, finishing fourth in their section behind Manchester City, Atalanta and Shakhtar Donetsk with five points – their best return in the competition for 20 years.
• Dinamo began this European campaign under returning coach Zoran Mamić by overcoming hosts CFR Cluj on penalties in the UEFA Champions League second qualifying round, but then lost 2-1 at Ferencváros before defeating Flora 3-1 in the UEFA Europa League play-offs to reach the group stage of the competition for the sixth time. Their first four group campaigns were all unsuccessful, but in 2018/19 they topped their section undefeated to reach the knockout phase of a UEFA competition for the first time under the flag of Croatia. Having eliminated Viktoria Plzeň in the round of 32 (1-2 a, 3-0 h), they were beaten after extra time by Benfica in the round of 16 (1-0 h, 0-3 a).
• Dinamo suffered 19 successive away defeats in UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League group games until they beat Anderlecht 2-0 in Brussels on Matchday 2 of the 2018/19 UEFA Europa League. Another win followed immediately afterwards, 2-1 at Spartak Trnava, but since then Dinamo have failed to win any of their six European away fixtures outside the qualifying phase (D2 L4).
Links and trivia
• CSKA's Nikola Vlašić began his career in his native Croatia with Hajduk Split (2014 –17). He is a Croatian international alongside Dinamo quartet Dominik Livaković, Mislav Oršić, Bruno Petković and Dino Perić.
• Kristijan Bistrović spent four years with Slaven Koprivnica before joining CSKA in 2018. He has played for Croatia's Under-21 side with Dinamo's Joško Gvardiol, Luka Ivanušec and Lovro Majer.
• Oršić and CSKA's Icelandic defender Hördur Magnússon played together in Italy's Serie B for Spezia in 2013/14.
• CSKA are one of six former UEFA Cup winners competing in this season's UEFA Europa League group stage, together with Bayer Leverkusen (Group C), PSV Eindhoven (E), Napoli (F), Tottenham (J) and Group K rivals Feyenoord.