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Ahmed Musa’s CSKA regroup for Krasnodar after Man United flop

06 November 2015, 14:31

Moscow – Ahmed Musa and his Russian Premier League table-toppers CSKA Moscow side will hope to bounce back from their midweek Champions League 1-0 defeat at Manchester United when they travel to FC Krasnodar on Sunday.

The Red Army side, the only remaining unbeaten team in Russia, have a nine-point lead at the top over Rostov and city rivals Lokomitiv.

Defending champions Zenit St Petersburg are one point further away in fourth.

"The result of the match in Manchester seems to be fair but I believe we still have chances to advance into the (Champions League) play-offs," CSKA manager Leonid Slutsky said.

"I expect a difficult match with Krasnodar. They've didn't start the season too well but have climbed up the table showing solid play in recent matches.

"We experienced some lack of creativity in attack in the absence of our playmaker Roman Eremenko, who will also miss the match at Krasnodar. Hopefully, he and Vasily Berezutsky will be back for our next Champions League match with Wolfsburg."

Also read: Ahmed Musa confident CSKA will beat Man United

Zenit, who have booked their place in the Champions League knockout stages with a confident 2-0 win at Lyon, will have to pass a serious test to their hopes of retaining the Russian title in a match with Lokomotiv Moscow.

"I am particularly pleased that we have reached the play-offs," Zenit head coach Andre Vilas-Boas said. "It is important both for Zenit and for Russia.

"Now we can focus on our performance in the Premier League, where we're much less effective this season. We've lost too many points.

"The situation is not easy at the moment, I can only plan for us winning all the points and expect CSKA to drop points. But we have to believe and continue our progress as a team.

"In this situation the match with Lokomotiv becomes very important for us."

Meanwhile, Lokomotiv, who have rejigged their defence after losing their last two Premier League matches, drew 1-1 in a Europa League encounter at Besiktas on Thursday, to stay top of their group.

The railway-backed side's manager Igor Cherevchenko said he believed that the changes in defence will help his team to achieve a positive result against Zenit on Sunday.

"After a 6-2 defeat at Kuban Krasnodar we made some changes in our defence, which passed a tough test at Besiktas," he said.

"I hope these changes will help us to hold Zenit's Hulk-Dzyuba attacking duo on Sunday."

Rostov, who have chalked up five wins in their last seven Premier League matches to make their way into the league's top three, play Ural Yekaterinburg on Saturday.

"We've done a lot of hard work in training this season and finally it paid off," Rostov head coach Kurban Berdyev said.

"Of course in some of this season's matches we were lucky but I believe we deserved our current position in the table. And we want to prove that our presence in the league's top three is not just a pure accident."

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