Leonid Slutski knows nothing less than a first Group B win will suffice when his PFC CSKA Moskva side host surprise leaders Trabzonspor AŞ aiming to climb off the foot of the section.
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PFC CSKA Moskva have just one point to show for their opening two Group B matches, and coach Leonid Slutski knows victory is a must against surprise section leaders Trabzonspor AŞ if the Russian side are to retain any realistic hope of progress.
Coach Leonid Slutski
It's obvious that the next two matches will be crucial in determining the outcome of the group. We still have the second game to come [against Trabzonspor] but tomorrow only a victory will suffice, because any other result will not help our qualification prospects.
Burak Yılmaz is Trabzonspor's top scorer and this match will be the last of his [three-game] ban. However, we have our own problems and we must concentrate on what we do, not who may or may not play for Trabzonspor. He is their leading striker, but Trabzonspor have got four points without him.
The lack of concentration against Terek [on Saturday] was due to fatigue, which affects a lot of our squad, because we use the same players for most of our games. Moreover, many of our players were involved with their national teams for two matches last week.
Despite having a small squad, we have experienced players and we should know that the consequences of such slackness can be costly.
Saturday: PFC CSKA Moskva 2-2 FC Terek Grozny (Vágner Love 39, Doumbia 47; Pavlenko 67, Maurício 68)
Gabulov; Šemberas, Ignashevich, A Berezutski, Fedotov; Rahimić, Mamaev, Dzagoev, Tošić (Cauņa 81); Doumbia, Vágner Love
• Seydou Doumbia scored his eighth goal in nine appearances as CSKA, without the suspended Kirill Nababkin, Vasili Berezutski and Evgeni Aldonin, drew for the sixth time in ten league games. They sit just two points adrift of leaders FC Zenit St Petersburg.
Sekou Oliseh is out with a hamstring injury suffered in training, joining long-term absentees Igor Akinfeev, Keisuke Honda, Tomáš Necid and Mark González on the sidelines. Georgi Schennikov was on the bench against Terek after four months out with an ankle injury.
Coach Şenol Güneş
Before the start of the competition, everybody thought we would end up bottom of our group, but we are on top and we plan to win both this match and the return fixture in Turkey. Football is an unpredictable game. Those who love football know that. In the previous game we conceded two goals [a 3-2 Super League win against MKE Ankaragücü]. It's not good enough. We have a new team this year and we are making mistakes which we must correct.
CSKA have a lot of good players, many of them internationals. We are not singling any of them out for special attention, but we certainly know about the quality of Vágner Love and Doumbia. We have a lot of good players too, though, which should mean a good game. We haven't been in contact with the Turkish players that know Russian football; I know that Fatih Tekke played at Zenit St Petersburg and Gökdeniz Karadeniz is at Rubin Kazan now. We worked with both players in the past, but CSKA are a well-known team; we don't need any more information on them than we have already.
Friday: Trabzonspor AŞ 3-2 MKE Ankaragücü (Paweł Brożek 38, Čelůstka 66, Burak 79; Şahin 19, Weeks 63)
Tolga; Serkan Balcı, Mustafa Yumlu, Giray Kaçar, Čelůstka; Colman, Zokora, Volkan Şen (Sapara 68); Mierzejewski (Čech 85); Burak, Paweł Brożek (Alanzinho 60)
• This was the first league fixture this season where someone other than Burak Yılmaz scored for Trabzonspor.
Burak is serving the last game of his three-match suspension while injury absentees include Paulo Henrique and Róbert Vittek (both knee) and Barış Ataş (hamstring). Tayfun Cora and Onur Kıvrak are yet to make their first appearances this season though both are back in training.
The teams are meeting for the first time and Trabzonspor have never faced Russian opponents but CSKA only have to go back two seasons for their last fixture against Turkish visitors; they beat Beşiktaş JK 2-1 home and away in the UEFA Champions League group stage.