CSKA Moskva have struggled at home in recent times, and face another tall order as Real Madrid come to Russia.
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CSKA Moskva's home struggles face a further stern examination as Real Madrid, UEFA Champions League winners in each of the last three seasons, visit in the second round of Group G games.
• The Russian club looked set to open their latest UEFA Champions League campaign with a defeat as they fell two goals behind at Viktoria Plzeň on matchday one, but a second-half fightback allowed Nikola Vlašić to snatch a point with a penalty in the final seconds. Madrid encountered no such worries, easing past last season's semi-finalists Roma with a 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabéu.
• The sides crossed paths for the only time in the 2011/12 round of 16, when they shared a 1-1 draw in Moscow. Madrid were comfortable 4-1 second-leg winners in Spain, Cristiano Ronaldo – who had also scored at CSKA – adding two more to his total, with Karim Benzema also on the scoresheet.
• Madrid went on to the semi-finals, where they lost on penalties to Bayern München.
• This is CSKA's 12th UEFA Champions League campaign, equalling the Russian record previously held alone by Spartak Moskva.
• In 2017/18 CSKA finished third behind Manchester United and Basel in their UEFA Champions League section, going on to beat Crvena zvezda and Lyon in the UEFA Europa League before losing to Arsenal in the quarter-finals (1-4 away, 2-2 home).
• The Russian club won four of their eight European home games in 2017/18 (D1 L3), although they lost two of three in the group stage.
• Excluding qualifying ties, CSKA have won only two of their last 11 European home fixtures (D4 L5).
• CSKA are, however, unbeaten at home to Spanish visitors, drawing three of their four fixtures – most recently against Madrid in 2012 – and winning the other.
• Madrid are holders and 13-time champions. Semi-finalists or better in each of the last eight seasons, this is Real Madrid's 49th European Cup campaign – more than any other side.
• Third in last season's Liga, the Spanish giants are in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 23rd time – a competition high they share with Barcelona and Porto.
• In 2017/18, Madrid finished second in their group – the second year running they had been runners-up in their section – but went on to beat Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern München in the knockout rounds before Gareth Bale (2) and Karim Benzema scored in the 3-1 final victory against Liverpool in Kyiv.
• Madrid picked up six points away from home in last season's group stage, losing 3-1 at Tottenham but winning 3-1 at Borussia Dortmund and 6-0 at APOEL – the latter result their biggest away success in the UEFA Champions League.
• Madrid have lost three of their last 18 away European matches, winning 11.
• Julen Lopetegui's side lost 4-2 to Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in Tallinn in August, denying them a third straight triumph in the competition.
• Madrid have nevertheless lost only four of their last 34 European fixtures, winning 23 and drawing seven. Those draws include the 2016 final against Atlético Madrid, which Madrid won on penalties in Milan.
• The Merengues have lost on four of their ten trips to Russia (W2 D4) but are unbeaten in their last three visits, winning twice. Madrid are unbeaten in their six fixtures against Russian clubs, home and away (W4 D2).
Links and trivia
• Luka Modrić provided an assist in a 2-2 draw, then scored his penalty past CSKA's Igor Akinfeev in the shoot-out as Croatia eliminated hosts Russia from this summer's FIFA World Cup quarter-finals in Moscow. Mário Fernandes, who scored the hosts' second goal, and Alan Dzagoev were also in the Russia team, Fernandes missing his spot kick in the shoot-out.
• Akinfeev also saved two penalties in Russia's shoot-out win against Spain in the last 16; Sergio Ramos converted Spain's fourth kick. Fernandes was again in the Russia side; Nacho, Isco, Marco Asensio and substitute Dani Carvajal also featured for Spain.
• Ramos scored twice in Spain's 3-3 friendly draw against Russia in November 2017.
• Akinfeev saved a Bale penalty in Russia's 2-1 home defeat of Wales in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying. The Welshman scored past the CSKA goalkeeper in a 3-0 win against Russia in the UEFA EURO 2016 group stage, taking his side into the round of 16 and knocking out Akinfeev's side.
• International team-mates:
Nikola Vlašić & Luka Modrić (Croatia)
Abel Hernández & Federico Valverde (Uruguay)
• Summer transfers
In: Rodrigo Becão (Bahia, loan), Hördur Magnússon (Bristol City), Jaka Bijol (Rudar Velenje), Ilzat Akhmetov (Rubin Kazan), Abel Hernández (unattached), Nikola Vlašić (Everton, loan), Takuma Nishimura (Vegalta Sendai), Arnór Sigurdsson (Norrköping), Ivan Oblyakov (Ufa)
Out: Pontus Wernbloom (released), Georgi Milanov (released), Bibras Natcho (released), Sergei Ignashevich (retired), Aleksei Berezutski (retired), Vasili Berezutski (retired), Aleksandr Golovin (Monaco), Vitinho (Flamengo)
• On 27 July CSKA beat city rivals Lokomotiv 1-0 to win the Russian Super Cup, Khetag Khosonov scoring the extra-time winner.
• Fedor Chalov is the Russian Premier League's top scorer after eight games with seven goals, including the winner at Orenburg on Friday (1-0).
• CSKA are unbeaten in their last seven league matches (W4 D3), sharing a 1-1 draw against Spartak Moskva on 23 September. The attendance of 29,361 was a new record for the Arena CSKA, the ground where the club play their league games.
• Takuma Nishimura made his CSKA debut against Spartak.
• Kristijan Bistrović had ankle surgery on 5 September and faces a lengthy recovery. Viktor Vasin, Konstantin Kuchaev and Aleksandr Makarov are still short of fitness after cruciate knee ligament injuries while Abel Hernández and Hördur Magnússon are expected to be out until mid-October with thigh problems. Khosonov (metatarsal) has returned to full training.
• Summer transfers
In: Vinícius Júnior (Flamengo), Andriy Lunin (Zorya Lugansk)*, Álvaro Odriozola (Real Sociedad), Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea), Mariano Díaz (Lyon)
Out: Omar Mascarell (Schalke), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus), Achraf Hakimi (Dortmund, loan), Mateo Kovačić (Chelsea, loan), Theo Hernández (Real Sociedad, loan), Martin Ødegaard (Vitesse, loan), Raúl de Tomás (Rayo Vallecano, loan), Andriy Lunin (Leganés, loan), Fábio Coentrão (end of contract), Borja Mayoral (Levante, loan)
*Not in UEFA Champions League squad
• Real Madrid were beaten 4-2 by neighbours Atlético in the UEFA Super Cup on 15 August – their first final defeat in international competition since losing to Boca Juniors in the 2000 European-South American Cup.
• Luka Modrić was voted UEFA Men's Player of the Year for 2017/18 on 30 August. The Croatian also collected the award for UEFA Champions League Midfielder of the Season, with club-mates Keylor Navas and Sergio Ramos picking up the prizes for Goalkeeper and Defender respectively.
• Madrid suffered a first Liga defeat of the season on 26 September, going down 3-0 at Sevilla – their sixth loss at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in their last seven visits. They were held 0-0 at home by Atlético on Saturday night.
• Gareth Bale was withdrawn at half-time against Atlético with a groin injury.
• Dani Carvajal had not played since matchday one due to a knock before returning against Atlético. Isco has missed the last two games with appendicitis, and Marcelo suffered a calf injury at Sevilla.
• Bale scored in Madrid's first three league games and had found the net in seven in a row in the competition – eight goals in total – before drawing a blank in his last three, although he did score against Roma on matchday one.