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CSKA play David to Manchester United's Goliath

"If it ends up 10-9 to us, that will be fine," joked Leonid Slutski as CSKA Moskva look to stand up to Manchester United, mindful that they are "up against a giant side".

CSKA coach Leonid Slutski
CSKA coach Leonid Slutski ©Getty Images
  • Leonid Slutski calls on CSKA's big-match experience
  • Both sides have won one and lost one so far in Group B
  • CSKA striker Seydou Doumbia has scored seven goals in last six appearances
  • Louis van Gaal explains why United trained in Manchester rather than Moscow

Possible lineup
CSKA Moskva: Akinfeev; Fernandes, V Berezutski, Ignashevich, Schennikov; Wernbloom, Tošić, Eremenko, Dzagoev; Musa, Doumbia.
Out: Natcho (concussion)

Manchester United: De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Carrick, Schweinsteiger; Mata, Rooney, Depay; Martial.
Out: Shaw (broken leg), Young (calf), McNair (stomach), Wilson (illness)

Leonid Slutski, CSKA coach
United made several changes for their last Premier League game, but I don't think that was anything to do with playing against us. I think they will have a similar lineup to the one that faced Everton. United are a top club regardless, and whoever plays for them will be very strong.

We are only bothered about the result of this match and not how many balls [goalkeeper Igor] Akinfeev fails to catch. If it ends up 10-9 to us, that will be fine. We have a team with plenty of experience. We have played a lot of games against big clubs – some have gone well, some a little worse – so we're ready.

Akinfeev on United rematch
Akinfeev on United rematch

These back-to-back matches are always crucial; we have to respect our opponents and be aware that we are up against a giant side, but we have the right to hope for a positive result.

Louis van Gaal, Manchester United coach
I said before the away match against PSV Eindhoven, one point is good. Three points is better but one point is good.

We trained in Manchester today because of the logistics and the way we have to prepare for matches. We were told that there would be traffic jams in Moscow so we thought it would be better to train at home on our training ground. My preference is to train here, because then the players know the circumstances and where they have to play, but in this case we decided to train in Manchester.

For me, as a manager, the next match is the most important match. I don't think about Manchester City [on Sunday]. I only think about CSKA Moskva and I have to focus on this match  I demand that also from my players. We have already lost one game against PSV away and we want to gain one point at least. That is why it is a very important match for us.

I didn't know that Marcos Rojo played for Spartak Moskva, but I saw him in the World Cup in Brazil when he played very well for Argentina. I analysed him at Sporting Lisbon. What I like is that he is physically a very strong guy, he is a good header and his pass is fast. I think there is great potential in him to become a very good player for Manchester United.

CSKA stars oppose racism
CSKA stars oppose racism

Weekend results
CSKA Moskva 3-2 Ural (Panchenko 2, Doumbia 38, Wernbloom 56; Acevedo 22; Gogniyev 60)
The leaders returned to domestic action with victory against Ural. Leonid Slutski rested Alan Dzagoev and his replacement Kirill Panchenko repaid his coach for the start with a goal within two minutes. The visiting side equalised but the leaders clinched all three points thanks to goals from Seydou Doumbia and Pontus Wernbloom before another Ural reply. Doumbia's strike was his ninth in his last nine games for CSKA.

Everton 0-3 Manchester United (Schneiderlin 18, Ander Herrera 22, Rooney 62)
On a day when Everton mourned the death of Howard Kendall, the manager who led them to glory in the 1980s, United cruised to a victory that keeps them within two points of leaders Manchester City. Morgan Schneiderlin's opportunist shot put United ahead and Ander Herrera headed in Marcos Rojo's cross to makle it 2-0 at half-time. Herrera set up former Everton striker Wayne Rooney for the third in the 62nd minute.

Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
CSKA: WWWDWW
Manchester United: WLWWWW

Reporter's view: Dmitri Rogovitski
United have special memories of Moscow as they beat Chelsea in the epic 2008 final. A year later the Red Devils won 1-0 at CSKA – their only victory in seven matches against Russian clubs. This time the teams meet just outside the capital, at Arena Khimki, where Leonid Slutski's team are six months without defeat. But they have not had to face a United side running into their best form under Van Gaal.

Did you know? 
Antonio Valencia was United's saviour the last time these sides met; find out more in our extensive match background