Manchester City make the long journey to Russia to face CSKA Moscow in a game where defeat would seriously harm their chances of making the Champions League knockout stages.
Just one point from their first two Group E fixtures makes this one crucial for Manuel Pellegrini’s men, with their late defeat to Bayern Munich being followed by a home draw with Roma; a result which may prove costly in the final reckoning. It means that they could really do with maximum points in their double-header against the bottom side.
The debate over why City continue to struggle in Europe continues to rage on, but they have had no such problems domestically in recent weeks, winning their last three Premier League games including Saturday’s action-packed encounter with Tottenham. Sergio Aguero was in sparkling form scoring four goals, and they will hope the Argentine will be just as deadly here.
The home side finished bottom of Man City’s group in last season’s competition, and do not appear to have improved since, with a 5-1 thrashing in Rome getting their campaign off to the worst possible start. They are still tough to beat at home as Bayern Munich discovered, but they will be without the backing of their supporters here after several incidents of racial abuse resulted in UEFA making them play this match behind closed doors.
Samir Nasri is still unavailable for City, who are without Frank Lampard after he picked up an injury on Saturday. Eliaquim Mangala could return to the back four if he proves his fitness.
See what the expert tipsters at OLBG are tipping on CSKA