UEFA Champions League: CSKA Moscow vs Real Madrid preview


Trophy holders Real Madrid are looking to secure their second consecutive Champions League win when they travel to Russia to meet CSKA Moscow at Luzhniki Arena on Tuesday. The two teams have met in the round of sixteen of this competition back in 2012 and CSKA Moscow managed to hold the Blancos to a 1-1 draw in Russia before surrendering to a 4-1 defeat in Madrid. CSKA Moscow have never lost at home against a Spanish team in an European competition, while Real Madrid have won just two of their ten away matches against Russian teams in continental competitions.

CSKA Moscow have been struggling for consistency since the start of the season, they are currently fourth in the Russian Premier League after having won just four of their nine matches since the start of the campaign. The UEFA Champions League adventure also got off to a slow start, CSKA barely escaped with a draw from their trip to Plzen as they fought back from 2-0 down at half time and scored the equalizer from a penalty kick on 95 minutes. Last week they secured a 1-0 victory at Orenburg in the Russian Premier League, but this season they never managed to record consecutive wins. CSKA have several injury worries ahead of this match, with seven first-team players out of contention.

Real Madrid are going through a rough phase as well, they have not won any of their last two matches and suffered a heavy defeat last week, 3-0 at Sevilla. They failed to recover from that as they recorded a goalless draw in the Madrid derby against Atletico at the weekend, but they can get some confidence back in the Champions League. Their campaign in Group G has been perfect so far as they kicked things off with a comfortable 3-0 victory over AS Roma two weeks ago. However, this season Real Madrid have won just one of their three away matches so far. Gareth Bale and Marcelo are injured and won't be available for this match.

Probable line-ups:

CSKA Moscow: Akinfeev - Becao, Chernov, Nababkin - Fernandes, Bijol, Oblyakov, Vlasic, Efremov - Chalov, Dzagoev

Real Madrid: Navas - Carvajal, Varane, Ramos, Nacho - Modric, Casemiro, Kroos - Isco, Benzema, Asensio

My prediction: Real Madrid to win 3-1, CSKA have too many injured players and won't be able to cope with Real's strength.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

CSKA win - 5.75
Draw - 4.33
Real win - 1.61

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