PFC CSKA Moskva will be hoping that a previous triumph against Spanish opposition will augur well as they prepare to take on RC Deportivo La Coruña in their opening UEFA Cup Group H fixture.
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PFC CSKA Moskva will be hoping that a previous success against Spanish opposition will augur well as they prepare to take on RC Deportivo La Coruña in their opening UEFA Cup Group H fixture.
• This is CSKA and Deportivo's first meeting in UEFA club competition.
• CSKA have played two games against Spanish sides in European club competition, triumphing in a 1992/93 UEFA Champions League second round tie against European Champion Clubs' Cup holders FC Barcelona.
• Few would have given CSKA much of a chance after they drew 1-1 in the home leg, with Aitor Beguiristain cancelling out Aleksandr Grishin's opener, and when they went 2-0 down after 31 minutes of the return fixture, it looked like game over for Gennadi Kostylev's side.
• However, Evgeni Bushmanov struck back before the break and two goals in quick succession from Denis Mashkarin and substitute Dmitri Karsakov turned the tie decisively in CSKA's favour.
• The CSKA lineup that night was:
CSKA: Dmitri Kharin, Aleksei Gushchin, Sergei Kolotovkin, Oleg Maliukov, Sergei Fokin, Mikhail Kolesnikov (Vasili Ivanov), Denis Mashkarin, Aleksandr Grishin (Dmitri Karsakov), Oleg Sergeev, Evgeni Bushmanov, Ilshat Faizulin.
• Deportivo have never faced a Russian side in UEFA club competition.
• UEFA Cup winners in 2004/05, CSKA finished third in the Russian Premier-Liga in 2007 to earn a UEFA Cup first round place. They knocked out NK Slaven Koprivnica to move into the group stage.
• Prior to a 1-0 win against Slaven in the first round, CSKA had not won in five successive home games in UEFA club competition, losing three and drawing two.
• Deportivo have won four of their last six European away games, losing the remaining two.
• Deportivo finished ninth in Spain last season, but earned a place in the UEFA Intertoto Cup, where they beat Bnei Sakhnin FC to move on to the second qualifying round of the UEFA Cup. They knocked out HNK Hajduk Split and SK Brann – on penalties – to earn a group stage place.
• CSKA are still coached by Valeri Gazzaev, though the coach said in July that he would leave the club at the end of the Russian season. Gazzaev has led CSKA to three Russian titles and four Russian Cups as well as the UEFA Cup, but said: "The reason for this decision is simple. CSKA, with this squad, have won everything they could. The time has come when the team needs a change."
• However, with his side improving enormously in recent months, it remains to be seen whether the former FC Alania Vladikavkaz, FC Dinamo Moskva and Russia coach goes ahead with his plan at the end of 2008.
• AS Nancy-Lorraine take on Feyenoord in Matchday 1's other Group H game. KKS Lech Poznań are the only side in the section not in action on 23 October.