Manchester United v CSKA Moscow – Champions League Match Preview
Louis van Gaal’s side has not scored since Anthony Martial netted against the Russians in the reverse fixture last month, a run that stretches over five hours. Their last outing, away to Crystal Palace, saw United register just one shot on target out of five attempts, and left Van Gaal bemoaning his side’s goal drought.
At the other end, the Red Devils boast the best defensive record in the league, which makes Schneiderlin of particular concern ahead of tonight’s clash, with the Frenchman ably marshalling the space in front of the back four this season. This summer’s signing missed part of the final training session before the match, with defender Phil Jones and winger Memphis Depay also doubtful.
The match between the sides last month in Russia ended 1-1, leaving both clubs at four points with the same goal difference – two points behind Wolfsburg, which tops Group B.
CSKA have been in blistering form in the Russian top flight, and have opened up a nine-point lead at the top following an unbeaten start to the season. Their 36-point haul from 14 games is a Russian top flight record.
Seydou Doumbia will be CSKA's danger man, with the Ivorian picking up from where he left off since his return to the club on loan from Italian side Roma, scoring a total of eleven goals in all competitions so far, including three in the Champions League, making him joint second top scorer behind Cristiano Ronaldo.
For United, and the so-called overly cautious Van Gaal, a win would be the perfect tonic after another weekend of frustration. A loss, however, would be very damaging, so it remains to be seen how far the Dutchman will push the boat out on Tuesday evening.