Monday, 24 November 2014
CSKA Moscow-Roma Preview: Victory could send Garcia's men into Champions League knockouts
CSKA Moscow will be out to exact revenge on Roma, who can book their spot in the last 16 of the Champions League on matchday five.
Leonid Slutsky's CSKA were humbled 5-1 by Roma in the opening Group E clash in September.
Roma were in devastating form in Rome, with the Serie A outfit racing out to a four-goal lead after just 31 minutes.
CSKA have the chance to avenge that comprehensive defeat, when the two teams meet at the Arena Khimki on Tuesday.
The Russians can also edge closer to the knockout phase, though their task is more complicated than Roma's.
CSKA are level on four points with Roma after rallying to draw 2-2 at home to Manchester City and stunning City 2-1 in the return clash two weeks later, with Seydou Doumbia scoring three goals in the two matches.
Roma occupy the second and final qualifying spot behind leaders Bayern Munich due to their superior head-to-head record against CSKA following the opening matchday rout.
With that in mind, Rudi Garcia's Roma can advance to the round of 16 on Tuesday if they win on the road and City fail to win at home to Bayern.
And the Italians head into the Champions League fixture in Russia, where they have won six of seven matches previously, on the back of a hard-fought 2-1 win over Atalanta in Serie A on Saturday.
Goals from Adem Ljajic and Radja Nainggolan were on target as Roma stayed within three points of defending champions Juventus.
"Winning when coming from behind is always difficult and even more so in Bergamo, as Atalanta are tough fighters," veteran Francesco Totti said post-game.
"Many compliments to Michele Somma for his Serie A debut, which represents a source of pride for our youth academy."
Hosts CSKA ,on the other hand, come into the game after back-to-back defeats in the Russian Premier League.
CSKA lost 1-0 to rivals Dinamo Moscow prior to the international break, while they conceded two goals in the opening six minutes as Krasnodar triumphed 2-1 on Saturday.