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Swashbuckling CSKA look to foil Sparta

PFC CSKA Moskva have averaged three goals a game in their last five matches in this competition and will be plotting another prolific outing against Group F rivals AC Sparta Praha.

CSKA posted a commanding 3-0 win over Lausanne-Sport on Matchday 1
CSKA posted a commanding 3-0 win over Lausanne-Sport on Matchday 1 ©Getty Images

PFC CSKA Moskva will look to maintain an impressive goalscoring record at home against AC Sparta Praha in UEFA Europa League Group F, while their visitors will be aiming to go 20 years unbeaten against Russian sides.

Previous meetings
• The teams are meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition and this will also be CSKA's first meeting with a club from the Czech Republic.

• Sparta have contested seven games against Russian sides, all of them against CSKA's capital rivals FC Spartak Moskva. Their record in those fixtures reads W2 D3 L2 (W0 D2 L1 in Moscow).

• Sparta have not lost in the last five of those games, a run stretching back to 3 October 1990. Thus, should they avoid defeat against CSKA, they will have gone 20 years unbeaten against Russian opposition.

Match background
• CSKA have lost two of their last five European home games, succumbing 1-0 to both Manchester United FC and eventual winners FC Internazionale Milano in last season's UEFA Champions League.

• CSKA stormed through the group stage during their last appearance in this competition in 2008/09, winning all four of their games and averaging three goals a match – a record they kept going with a 3-0 success at FC Lausanne-Sport on Matchday 1.

• The Army Men are unbeaten in seven UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League home outings since a 2-1 loss to Olympique de Marseille in the 2005/06 group stage.

• Sparta are appearing in their fourth UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League group stage, having yet to qualify for the knockout phase.

• Sparta have won three of their last five away fixtures in UEFA club competition.

Team facts
• CSKA coach Leonid Slutski's playing career was ended at the age of 19 by a knee injury sustained when the young goalkeeper fell from a tree trying to rescue a neighbour's cat. Having gained experience in youth coaching, he worked wonders in a three-year spell at FC Moskva before leading PFC Krylya Sovetov Samara to a sixth-place finish in 2008, and took over at CSKA the following October.

• Capped 52 times by Czechoslovakia, former midfielder Jozef Chovanec is Sparta to the core. He served the club for the bulk of his playing career and has continued his association since moving into coaching, taking charge for four separate spells as well as leading 1. FK Příbram, FC Kuban Krasnodar and the Czech Republic national team.

• Sparta are appearing in their 50th UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League game, with the previous 49 having left them with the tally W21 D12 L16.

• CSKA boast Czech talent in the form of striker Tomáš Necid. He was born in Prague and started his career with Sparta's arch-rivals SK Slavia Praha, before moving to Moscow in 2009.

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