Leonid Slutski has told PFC CSKA Moskva to exploit home advantage in a "crucial" Group D game against Manchester City FC, with Manuel Pellegrini also seeking a positive result.
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Aware that title holders FC Bayern München are looking ominous in UEFA Champions League Group D, PFC CSKA Moskva coach Leonid Slutski knows his team need to seize their chance in the upcoming double-header against Manchester City FC. Opposite number Manuel Pellegrini, meanwhile, is looking for a repeat of City's impressive win at FC Viktoria Plzeň on matchday one.
Leonid Slutski, coach
We will have 11 players out on the pitch and our aim will be to get a positive result. It is a very important game for us and it will make the situation in the group a lot clearer. Neither team will qualify or be eliminated after the game, but it will be crucial in terms of our hopes of making the knockout stage. The third and fourth matches in the group are always key. There is an obvious favourite in our group, so the fixtures between us and Manchester City will decide who qualifies in second place.
They have a really strong squad; for example, I don't know who will line up on the left and right of defence. It could be Micah Richards or Pablo Zabaleta, and it could be Gaël Clichy or Aleksandar Kolarov. They have four players who are always in the side – Joe Hart, Fernandinho, Yaya Touré and Sergio Agüero. When you can leave players such as James Milner on the bench, who is a national team player, it just goes to show the strength in depth they possess.
We must make sure that we play at a high tempo and look to play as a team and win our individual battles on the pitch. If we manage to do this, then we have a chance of beating Manchester City and overcoming the individual excellence of the players they have.
Friday: FC Zenit 2-0 CSKA (Shirokov 16, Hulk 45)
Chepchugov; Schennikov, V Berezutski, Ignashevich, Nababkin; Milanov, Wernbloom, Tošić (Vitinho 53), Zuber (Doumbia 54), Honda; Musa.
• CSKA slumped to their fourth loss in five Russian Premier League games though the return of Seydou Doumbia after six weeks out with a thigh injury provided a timely lift.
Mário Fernandes, Alan Dzagoev, Rasmus Elm and Aleksandrs Cauņa are all ruled out, but Doumbia is available and Igor Akinfeev "will play in goal" according to Slutski.
Manuel Pellegrini, manager
CSKA are a very strong side, they are heavyweights in Russia. I saw their games against Zenit last Saturday, Plzeň and Bayern. I think we play better in away games in the Champions League rather than in the English Premier League.
It's not the last match in the group but it's a very pivotal, important game for us. The team who win this game will have more of a chance to get through to the next round, but there are still three matches ahead. For us the most important thing is to earn three points.
Saturday: West Ham United FC 1-3 City (Vaz Té 58; Agüero 16 51, Silva 80)
Hart; Richards, Nastasić, García, Clichy; Silva, Yaya Touré, Fernandinho, Nasri (Milner 74); Negredo (Kolarov 66), Agüero (Jovetić 82).
• Agüero struck twice to help Pellegrini to his first Premier League away win as City manager. Indeed, City's next three games are on the road, starting with the match in Moscow.
Vincent Kompany is back in training after his knee injury. Martín Demichelis, also out with a knee problem, could make a belated debut after coming through a reserve fixture.
• City's Álvaro Negredo and Jesús Navas were in the Sevilla FC side beaten by CSKA in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League round of 16. Negredo got the opening goal in a 1-1 first-leg draw at Luzhniki Stadium but CSKA prevailed 2-1 in Spain. Another City striker, Edin Džeko, hit the opener for his team, VfL Wolfsburg, in a 2-1 defeat at CSKA in the group stage that same season.