Manchester United look to earn their first away win in the UEFA Champions League when they take on CSKA Moscow at Arena Khimki.
As it stands in Group B, all four teams are level on points with three points after two matchday’s. United are travelling to Moscow knowing, they will need to pick up more points to qualify for the knockout stages. Only four fixtures remain in the group stages, it is difficult to earn points in away games. Hopefully, Van Gaal will be able to prepare better after the opening defeat to PSV in the competition.
United are in great spirits after the weekend result against Everton after suffering an embarrassment against Arsenal before the international break. This was the ideal response to show people it was just a one-off result. However, CSKA Moscow have yet to suffer a defeat at home this season which will be a very hostile atmosphere. They managed to win 3-2 against PSV which shows they are one of the strongest teams in the group.
United will be without Young due to a calf injury. McNair and Wilson have not travelled and only a 20 man squad have boarded to Russia that includes Valencia and Romero.
Memphis and Blind were left out of the squad on the weekend although, the impressive team performance showed they were not missing. There has been talks from Giggs giving guidance to Memphis on how to adapt in the league but he shows his qualities in the Champions League. He needs to be consistent as he has so much potential. Herrera was outstanding as he was given the role to support Rooney upfront. Fans want to see Herrera get more games and when he does get the chance, he delivers.
There will be one eye on the weekend’s Manchester Derby, as the race hot’s up for the challenge of the league title. If United get the chance to control the game early on, then they can rest a few key players. Martial gave Coleman a torrid time on the touchline and he gives options to play him anywhere in attack. This decision allowed Rooney to get on the score sheet by playing him up on his own. In the heart of defence, Smalling is continuing to show how he has made his role so vital to the team by making interceptions and finding the pass to move forward. By having a solid defence, it provides a back bone to the team where midfielders like Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger and Carrick enjoy controlling the game.
The last time these two sides met was back in 2009, where United picked up four points from six. It was Valencia who scored last on and he would be looking to get back into the side.
Possible starting XI:
Moscow; Akinfeev, Fernandes, Berezutski, Ignashevich, Schennikov, Wernbloom, Tosic, Eremenko, Dzagoev, Musa, Doumbia.
Man Utd; De Gea, Darmian, Smalling, Jones, Rojo, Carrick, Schweinsteiger, Mata, Herrera, Martial, Rooney.