CSKA Moskva need home improvement for Benfica visit
Friday, November 10, 2017
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.
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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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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 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.
• 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.
• 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.