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
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
"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
"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
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