UEFA Champions League: CSKA Moscow vs AS Roma preview


We'll have a decisive battle in UEFA Champions League Group G on Wednesday as first-placed AS Roma visit third-placed CSKA Moscow at Luzhniki Arena. Two weeks ago Roma won the reverse fixture in emphatic fashion, it ended 3-0 with two goals from Edin Dzeko and another one from Cengiz Under. CSKA Moscow have won just one of the previous five direct meetings, and that victory was all the way back in 1991. Roma have won three of the other four direct clashes, including a 5-1 victory in the Italian capital in 2014, also in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.

CSKA Moscow are still in with a solid chance to qualify from Group G, after all they can still brag about having defeated Real Madrid 1-0 at the beginning of October. Before that they had secured a 2-2 draw at Plzen thanks to a stoppage-time goal from Nikola Vlasic. The Russians are now just two points behind both Roma and Real Madrid, so a victory on Wednesday would put them ahead of the Italians before the final two matches of the group stage. Abel Hernandez is an injury doubt for the home side, while Viktor Vasin, Aleksandr Makarov, Kristijan Bistrovic and Gergoy Schennikov are all sidelined.

AS Roma have done a lot better in the Champions League than in Serie A lately, they have won their last two European matches while in the domestic league they have gone three games without a win. Last week Roma secured a 1-1 draw at Fiorentina, a result which leaves them down in ninth place in the Serie A table. In the Champions League they started with a 3-0 defeat at Real Madrid, but then recovered with a 5-0 victory over Plzen before the 3-0 win over CSKA, and are not at the top of the group table. Diego Perotti, Rick Karsdorp and Daniele De Rossi are all injury doubts for the visitors.

Probable line-ups:

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

Roma: Olsen - Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov - Nzonzi, Cristante - Under, Pellegrini, El Shaarawy - Dzeko

My prediction: 1-1 draw, Roma should be in control of this match, but CSKA are tough to beat in Moscow.

Here are the odds for the match at Bet365:

CSKA win - 4.00
Draw - 3.60
Roma win - 2.00

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