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Success on Russian soil fires Sevilla belief

PFC CSKA Moskva face difficult opponents as they tread new ground in the UEFA Champions League with a home game against a Sevilla FC side who have been a formidable force in their two campaigns.

Success on Russian soil fires Sevilla belief
Success on Russian soil fires Sevilla belief ©UEFA.com

PFC CSKA Moskva, who are breaking new ground with a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds, face a difficult test in hosting a Sevilla FC side who have shown in their two campaigns that mixing with the cream of Europe holds no fears for them.

Match background
• The Moscow club qualified for the group stage of the inaugural UEFA Champions League in 1992/93 having won through the first two rounds, but in their four subsequent campaigns this is the first time they have progressed from their section.

• Leonid Slutski's side achieved their place with a dramatic 2-1 victory at Beşiktaş JK on Matchday 6 to finish as Group B runners-up, three points behind Manchester United FC and three ahead of VfL Wolfsburg. It was CSKA's third victory after home wins against Wolfsburg and Beşiktaş. In the Luzhniki Stadium they also suffered a 1-0 loss to United.

• The Army Men last faced Spanish opposition 14 months ago when they saw off RC Deportivo La Coruña 3-0 in the UEFA Cup group stage in Moscow. Their only other meeting with visitors from Spain was a 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw against FC Barcelona on 21 October 1992, CSKA knocking the reigning European champions out with a 3-2 win in the Camp Nou reverse.

• Sevilla faced Premier-Liga opposition on three occasions in 2005/06 en route to the first of their successive UEFA Cup triumphs. They lost 2-1 at FC Zenit St. Petersburg in the group stage before beating FC Lokomotiv Moskva away (1-0) and home (2-0) in the round of 32. In the quarter-finals they exacted revenge on Zenit with a 5-2 aggregate win, the away leg ending 1-1.

• The Andalusian club suceeded CSKA – who became the first Russian side to claim European silverware in 2005 – as UEFA Cup winners.

• This time round, Sevilla won Group G by a four-point margin, losing only at FC Unirea Urziceni on Matchday 5 with qualification already assured. They triumphed at Rangers FC (4-1) and VfB Stuttgart (3-1) and have lost only three of their 14 matches in the UEFA Champions League proper so far, all the defeats coming away from home.

• In their previous UEFA Champions League campaign, the Spanish side exited the competition at this stage against Fenerbahçe SK. After losing the first leg 3-2 away, they managed to win the return by the same score only to go out on penalties.

Team ties
• Juande Ramos, who led Sevilla to their twin UEFA Cup triumphs, spent six weeks as CSKA head coach last autumn.

• Ivica Dragutinović and Miloš Krasić are team-mates in the Serbian national team.

• Igor Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevich plus Aleksei and Vasili Berezutski all featured for Russia against Spain at UEFA EURO 2008, Spain winning 4-1 in Group D and 3-0 in the semi-finals. Akinfeev and Ignashevich played in both games while both Berezutski brothers remained on the bench along with Andrés Palop and Fernando Navarro for their opponents.

• Mark González has had spells at Albacete Balompié, Real Sociedad de Fútbol and Real Betis Balompié.

• Marius Stankevičius played for Lithuania in a 4-3 defeat by Russia in a Moscow friendly in August 2004.

• Dragutinović and Krasić played for Serbia in a 3-0 FIFA World Cup qualifying victory against a Lithuania side containing Deividas Šemberas and Stankevičius on 11 October 2008. Dragutinović, Krasić and Stankevičius also appeared in the reverse fixture, won 2-1 by Lithuania on 14 October 2009.

• Luis Fabiano scored twice for Brazil in a 3-0 victory against a Chile side including González in a World Cup qualifier on 7 September 2008.

• Álvaro Negredo scored twice for Spain in a 5-2 victory against Bosnia-Herzegovina in a World Cup qualifying tie in Zenica on 14 October 2009. Elvir Rahimić was on the opposing side as he had been when Bosnia-Herzegovina lost 1-0 in Murcia a year earlier, when Diego Capel lined up for the hosts.

• Russia forward Aleksandr Kerzhakov was at Sevilla from January 2007 to February 2008, winning the UEFA Cup, Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup.