Real Madrid will look to end another impressive group campaign by gaining revenge on a CSKA Moskva side who inflicted the holders’ only defeat in Group G and are hoping to finish third in the section.

• Santiago Solari’s side made sure of finishing first in their section with victory on matchday five – the 2-0 victory at Roma made it four wins from five in Group G. The exception was a 1-0 loss at CSKA in the second round of matches, Nikola Vlašić scoring the only goal in the second minute.

• CSKA have managed only one point from their other four matches, losing the last three, and are level with Viktoria Plzeň on four points – but behind the Czech champions on head-to-head record. CSKA must therefore pick up more points than Plzeň to finish third.

Highlights: CSKA Moskva 1-0 Real Madrid

Previous meetings
• Before their matchday two meeting in Russia, the sides had crossed paths just twice, in the 2011/12 round of 16, when they drew 1-1 in Moscow before Madrid eased to a 4-1 win in Spain, Karim Benzema among the scorers.

• Madrid went on to the semi-finals, where they lost on penalties to Bayern München.

Form guide
Real Madrid
• The 1-0 loss at CSKA is Madrid’s only blemish to date in this season’s competition, with two wins apiece against Roma (3-0 home, 2-0 away) and Plzeň (2-1 home, 5-0 away). The victory in the Czech Republic marked Solari’s first match in charge following the departure of Julen Lopetegui on 29 October.

• Madrid have lost only five of their last 38 European matches, home and away.

• Madrid are holders and 13-time champions. Semi-finalists or better in each of the last eight seasons, this is Real Madrid’s 49th European Cup campaign – more than any other side.

• Third in last season’s Liga, the Spanish giants are in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the 23rd time – a competition high they share with Barcelona and Porto. They have also now qualified for the knockout phase for a record 23rd time – twice more than Barcelona.

Bale delight after Real Madrid win

Bale delight after Real Madrid win

• In 2017/18, Madrid picked up seven points at home but finished second in their group – the second year running they had been runners-up in their section – before going on to beat Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Bayern München in the knockout rounds. Gareth Bale (2) and Karim Benzema scored in the 3-1 final victory against Liverpool in Kyiv.

• The Merengues have won 36 of their last 44 UEFA Champions League home matches, losing just two – 4-3 to Schalke in their 2014/15 round of 16 second leg and against Juventus last season. They still won both ties on aggregate.

• The defeat at CSKA ended Madrid’s six-match unbeaten run against Russian clubs, home and away (W4 D2).

• Madrid have not lost at home to Russian visitors since a 3-1 European Champion Clubs’ Cup quarter-final reverse to Spartak Moskva in March 1991, also the aggregate score, in the second such fixture. Their record since is W7 D1.

• Under Lopetegui, the Merengues lost 4-2 to Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in Tallinn in August, denying them a third straight triumph in the competition. The defeat in Moscow meant Madrid lost two European fixtures out of four under Lopetegui before his departure.

Match-winner Vlašić on victory against Madrid

Match-winner Vlašić on victory against Madrid

CSKA Moskva
• CSKA picked up four points from their first two Group G games, coming from two down to salvage a point at Plzeň on matchday one before beating Madrid in Moscow. They have lost all three games since, though, two to Roma (0-3 away, 1-2 home) and a 2-1 reverse at home to Plzeň last time out.

• This is CSKA’s 12th UEFA Champions League campaign, equalling the Russian record previously held alone by Spartak Moskva.

• In 2017/18 CSKA finished third behind Manchester United and Basel in their UEFA Champions League section, going on to beat Crvena zvezda and Lyon in the UEFA Europa League before losing to Arsenal in the quarter-finals (1-4 away, 2-2 home).

• The Russian club won five of their eight away European games in 2017/18 (D1 L2), although the win at Lyon last season is their only success in six (D2 L3).

• CSKA have won on two of their three trips to Spain.

Links and trivia
• Luka Modrić provided an assist in a 2-2 draw, then scored his penalty past CSKA’s Igor Akinfeev in the shoot-out as Croatia eliminated hosts Russia from this summer’s FIFA World Cup quarter-finals in Moscow. Mário Fernandes, who scored the hosts’ second goal, and Alan Dzagoev were also in the Russia team, Fernandes missing his spot kick in the shoot-out.

• Akinfeev also saved two penalties in Russia’s shoot-out win against Spain in the last 16; Sergio Ramos converted Spain’s fourth kick. Fernandes was again in the Russia side; Nacho, Isco, Marco Asensio and substitute Dani Carvajal also featured for Spain.

• Ramos scored twice in Spain’s 3-3 friendly draw against Russia in November 2017.

• Akinfeev saved a Bale penalty in Russia’s 2-1 home defeat of Wales in 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying. The Welshman scored past the CSKA goalkeeper in a 3-0 win against Russia in the UEFA EURO 2016 group stage, taking his side into the round of 16 and knocking out Akinfeev’s side.

• International team-mates:
Luka Modrić & Nikola Vlašić (Croatia)
Federico Valverde & Abel Hernández (Uruguay)

Source link