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Champions League Group B: Man Utd seek momentous Moscow win

Lee Gormley | November 2, 2015

Manchester United v CSKA Moscow

  • Champions League
  • Tuesday, November 3rd
  • Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
  • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Live on BT Sport 1

Red Devils seek revival in Moscow meeting

Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United will hope to secure a rejuvenating victory over CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford in their latest Champions League Group B clash, after recent domestic flaws, with the meeting potentially set to seal both teams’ European fate.

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The Red Devils are still searching for their first ever home win over Russian opposition and only a second triumph in nine match-ups against any side from the country, having been held by their rivals in the reverse clash in Moscow.

United have drawn 0-0 in their previous three consecutive matches in the Premier League and Capital One Cup, and another goalless stalemate at Old Trafford is 11/1 with Coral, while the visiting Russian outfit are 19/4 to cause an upset on their travels.

Frustrating goal drought

Despite having climbed to fourth in the Premier League table at this early stage, United are suffering from a hapless goal drought, after failing to find the net in their previous three games in all competitions.

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Notably, the Red Devils’ last goal came in the reverse CSKA clash, when the world’s most expensive teenager Anthony Martial headed in a second-half equaliser during an eventual 1-1 draw. Van Gaal’s men last secured a victory over Everton on October 17th, but are 6/4 to finally halt their drought in front of goal with a win to nil at Old Trafford.

Van Gaal: “We need victory!”

Following a run of four draws in all competitions and no goals in their previous three outings, a misfiring streak which has seen United lose ground on top-tier leaders Manchester City and exit the League Cup, Van Gaal has urged his players to respond.

“When I see their characters, I don’t think they have doubts about that quality,” Van Gaal stated of his attacking stars. “It can change in one match – let that be CSKA, because we need victory.

“I have to hope we score against Moscow again because then we are talking in a different way.”

Martial to the rescue again?

France international prospect Martial looked to be the hosts’ key goal threat this term after an explosive start to life at Old Trafford, but even he has struggled of late. The former Monaco marksman is 4/1 to net last again in this European encounter and add to his five season strikes.

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Wayne Rooney has endured plenty of criticism regarding his form up top for United, having netted only twice in the top-flight so far this term. England’s all-time finisher struck a hat-trick during the Champions League play-offs back in August, and is evens to dispatch his first of the group stages anytime.

CSKA’s rapid attacker Seydou Doumbia gave his side an early lead against United on home soil in the reverse meeting and the Ivory Coast international will once again be a threat on the red half of Manchester. He is 8/1 to open proceedings again, having already notched-up eight goals so far this campaign.

Former Old Trafford misfit Zoran Tosic looked sharp in Moscow against his previous employers and the tricky wideman is 11/2 to fire in anytime at his old stomping ground.

Van Gaal holds injury woes

In a crucial game for United, Dutch boss Van Gaal possesses some injury concerns, with France international anchorman Morgan Schneiderlin a doubt after picking up a knock in the Crystal Palace stalemate.

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Antonio Valencia, who struck in a 3-3 draw with CSKA in 2010, is also a serious doubt through injury, along with striker James Wilson, Northern Irish starlet Paddy McNair and long-term absentee Luke Shaw.

Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Memphis Depay all trained separately this week ahead of the Moscow match-up, with the latter two having also missed the previous draw in south London.

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Coral’s top tip: Anthony Martial struck a late equaliser in Moscow and he is now 4/1 to net last again at Old Trafford