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Manchester United welcome CSKA Moskva for Group A showdown

Manchester United need only avoid a heavy defeat to make sure of progressing from Group A, while CSKA Moskva also have their own qualification aspirations.

Action from the teams' matchday two meeting
Action from the teams' matchday two meeting ©AFP/Getty Images

Manchester United FC welcome PFC CSKA Moskva to Old Trafford looking for the point that would guarantee first place in Group A, although the Russian club have their own qualification aspirations.

• José Mourinho's side have 12 points, a lead of three, and would qualify in first place with a point – and they can afford to lose by six goals and still go through. If they lose to CSKA and FC Basel 1893 do not win away to point-less SL Benfica, United and CSKA will go through with first place determined by head-to-head results between the two; United won 4-1 in Russia and would have the superior overall goal difference if they lose 4-1. If CSKA and Basel win, the top two will be decided in a three-way head to head; United would be through in this situation unless they lost by seven goals, and would be top unless they lost by five goals.

• CSKA must pick up more points than Basel to ensure second place. If both win, CSKA must win by a margin of three goals to go through in the three-way head-to-head and by a margin of five goals to finish top.

Previous meetings
• It was on 21 October 2009 that the clubs met for the first time, United's Antonio Valencia scoring the only goal in Moscow after 86 minutes.

• Valencia then got a 92nd-minute equaliser as United came from 3-1 down to draw 3-3 in the second instalment at Old Trafford. Vasili Berezutski and Alan Dzagoev were among the CSKA scorers.

• The teams in Manchester on 3 November 2009 were:
Manchester United: Van der Sar, Neville, Brown, Evans, Fabio (Evra 59), Valencia, Fletcher, Scholes, Nani (Rooney 58), Macheda (Obertan 82), Owen.
CSKA: Akinfeev, Šemberas, Ignashevich, A Berezutski, V Berezutski, Schennikov, Mamaev (Rahimić 70), Krasić, Dzagoev (Daniel Carvalho 72), Aldonin, Necid (Piliev 85).

• Seydou Doumbia gave Leonid Slutski's CSKA a 15th-minute lead at home to United in October 2015, converting the rebound after David de Gea had saved Roman Eremenko's penalty, but Anthony Martial's 65th-minute reply gave Louis van Gaal's visitors a point.

• Wayne Rooney hit the only goal of United's home game against CSKA in the 79th minute. However, United ended Group B in third position, one place and four points above CSKA.

• The line-ups at Old Trafford on 3 November 2015 were:
Manchester United: De Gea, Smalling, Blind, Rojo, Carrick, Schweinsteiger (Herrera 89), Mata (Depay 74), Martial (Fellaini 66), Young, Lingard, Rooney.
CSKA: Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Ignashevich, A Berezutski, Schennikov, Wernbloom, Milanov, Tošić (Golovin 76), Dzagoev (Panchenko 85), Natcho (Doumbia 55), Musa.

Match background

Manchester United
• United are unbeaten at home to Russian clubs (W2 D3); their overall record in 12 meetings with Russian sides is W4 D7 L1. The sole defeat was a 2-1 loss to FC Zenit in the 2008 UEFA Super Cup, played on neutral territory in Monaco.

• In last season's UEFA Europa League round of 16, United drew 1-1 at FC Rostov with Henrikh Mkhitaryan getting the goal, winning the Manchester return 1-0 thanks to a Juan Mata strike.

• The Red Devils are unbeaten in 20 European home matches (W16 D4), going back to a 2-1 home loss to Real Madrid CF in the 2012/13 UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg. The 1-1 draw with RC Celta de Vigo in last season's UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg (2-1 aggregate) halted a six-game winning home run; they have won both since.

• This is United's seventh European fixture this term, which started with the 2-1 loss to Real Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in Skopje on 8 August. That ended United's 11-match unbeaten streak (W8 D3) since a 2-1 reversal at Fenerbahçe SK on matchday four of last season's UEFA Europa League. The defeat in Istanbul had been their fifth in nine European games.

• United were, however, beaten 1-0 at Basel on matchday five, only their second loss in their last 17 European matches, home and away (W12 D3).

• This is United's 21st campaign in the UEFA Champions League group stage, and only four times have they failed to make the next round. Two of those eliminations came in their last four participations; the English club finished third in their section in both 2011/12 and 2015/16, their last appearance.

• United completed a clean sweep of European trophies with victory in last season's UEFA Europa League. The win against AFC Ajax in Stockholm added to their European Cup triumphs of 1968, 1999 and 2008 and their 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup success.

CSKA Moskva
• The Russian club, who last reached the round of 16 in 2011/12, have won all four European away games this season, triumphing 2-1 at both Benfica and Basel in Group A. 

• The victory at Benfica was CSKA's 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. It was also their first away win in the UEFA Champions League group stage since a 2-1 success at Manchester City FC on 5 November 2014. Their away record since had been D1 L6.

• 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). They had also lost six of their previous seven European away games, drawing the other.

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

• CSKA lost 3-1 at Tottenham Hotspur FC on matchday six last season, giving them the record W1 D3 L4 away to English clubs. Their sole success came in Manchester, however, that 2014 triumph at Manchester City.

• CSKA lost to Liverpool FC in the 2005 UEFA Super Cup, going down 3-1 after extra time in Monaco.

Coach and player links
• Marcos Rojo played for FC Spartak Moskva between 2010 and 2012, scoring against CSKA in a 2-2 draw in an Under-21 Premier League match.

• Romelu Lukaku struck both goals in Belgium's 2-0 friendly win away to Russia on 17 November 2010, with Marouane Fellaini also in the team; Igor Akinfeev, Sergei Ignashevich, Vasili Berezutski, Alan Dzagoyev and substitute Viktor Vasin, who was making his debut, featured for Russia.

• Akinfeev, Ignashevich, Vasili Berezutski and Dzagoev were also in the Russia team beaten 1-0 by Fellaini and Lukaku's Belgium in the 2014 FIFA World Cup group stage.

• Zlatan Ibrahimović scored in Sweden's 1-1 friendly draw in Moscow in 2002.

• Matteo Darmian was in the US Città di Palermo side beaten 3-0 at home and 3-1 away by CSKA in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Ashley Young was in the Aston Villa FC team that drew 1-1 at home to CSKA in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup round of 32 first leg, the English club going on to lose 3-1 on aggregate.

• Have played together:
Sergio Romero & Pontus Wernbloom (AZ Alkmaar, 2009–11)
Victor Lindelöf, Zlatan Ibrahimović & Pontus Wernbloom (Sweden)

Match facts

Manchester United
• Jesse Lingard is a booking away from a ban.

• Mourinho's side have kept 13 clean sheets in their last 22 matches in all competitions.

• Romelu Lukaku scored 11 goals in his first ten outings for United this season but has only managed one in 12 games since.

• Ashley Young scored twice as United won 4-2 at Watford FC on 28 November. The last time he struck twice in a game was 4 March 2012.

• The Red Devils have managed four goals in a game on eight occasions this campaign.

• David De Gea is on the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d'Or. The winner will be announced on 7 December.

• Marcos Rojo's appearance on matchday five was his first since 20 April.

• Nemanja Matić had to be substituted with a muscle injury at Watford but was fit to start the 3-1 success at Arsenal FC on Saturday.

• Phil Jones has not featured since suffering a thigh injury in England's goalless draw against Germany on 10 November.

• Eric Bailly (groin) has been absent since the 1-0 defeat at Chelsea FC on 5 November.

• Michael Carrick (calf, heart condition) has been missing since 20 September.

CSKA Moskva
• Pontus Wernbloom and Bibras Natcho will serve a one-game suspension on matchday six. Aleksandr Golovin is a booking away from a ban.

• Igor Akinfeev kept a clean sheet for the first time in 44 UEFA Champions League matches on matchday five.

• CSKA have won five and drawn one of their last six matches in all competitions.

• CSKA's 6-0 win against FC Tosno on Friday was their biggest in any competition since April 2016.

• Having been deployed as a striker in recent weeks, Wernbloom has scored five goals in his last six matches.

• CSKA will be without injured Aleksei Berezutski, Georgi Schennikov and Georgi Milanov until next year.

• Fedor Chalov is one of the six contenders for the Young Player of the Year award in Russia.