Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has admitted his concern over the state of the CSKA Moscow pitch ahead of their Champions League tie at Arena Khimki, ESPN
CSKA were forced to move their previous Champions League game to Zenit St. Petersburg’s stadium after heavy rain left the pitch unplayable, and there was talk the visit of City would also have to be moved elsewhere. Eventually the match was confirmed for CSKA’s home ground but the condition of the pitch meant City were not allowed to train on it on Monday evening, as is customary for away sides in Europe.
When asked about the issue at the pre-match press conference, Fernandinho confirmed it was causing some apprehension. “I am worried about the pitch,” he said. “If you don’t have a good pitch it could be very hard for us. I am hoping it will be a good game but that depends on whether the pitch is good or not.
“Everybody has talked about the pitch being bad but I don’t know,” Fernandinho continued. “We will see when we train there. If the pitch is bad we may have to fight to win the game but that is no different to any other game – it is always a fight to win.”
City go into the game in second place in Group D, level on points with their hosts and three behind leaders Bayern Munich. The fourth team in the group, Viktoria Plzen, have yet to register a point. Fernandinho, a summer signing from Shakhtar Donetsk, believes that City need to take the chance to put some daylight between themselves and CSKA.
“ We have to go for the win,” the Brazil international added. “We can’t think about the draw – we need to go there to win. This is all about six points because we play CSKA back-to-back. We must win there, and if we do that and then beat them at home, we will take a big step towards qualification.”
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