Moscow - CSKA Moscow, fresh from their Champions League
stalemate with Manchester United, face Terek Grozny on Sunday in a stern test
of their Russian Premier League title ambitions.
The only unbeaten side left in the league top the table five
points clear of city rivals Lokomitiv with defending champions Zenit St
Petersburg five points further away in third.
CSKA manager Leonid Slutsky said Wednesday's 1-1 home draw
against United suggested his team were out of form.
Also read: CSKA manager relies on ‘dangerous’ Ahmed Musa
"Our playmakers (Roman) Eremenko and (Alan) Dzagoev,
who both recently recovered from injuries, looked tired in the second half of
the match with Man United," said Slutsky who also doubles up as Russia's
"That's the main reason for our insipid play after the
"Unfortunately, we will unlikely manage to change the
situation radically for the better before Sunday's match at Grozny.
"I expect a very hard match on Sunday as Terek, who
traditionally play well on their home turf and look very impressive."
Lokomotiv, who drew 1-1 with Turkish high-flyers Besiktas in
the Europa League Thursday, are preparing for a hard clash with fourth-placed
Rostov, who have shown serious progress in recent domestic league matches.
"Rostov have won three of their last four Premier
League matches," Lokomotiv head coach Igor Cherevchenko said.
"They show solid play, which has put them into fourth,
above some of the league's traditional leaders. I expect a really tough match
Zenit St Petersburg, who have boosted their chances to make
it into the Champions League knockout stage with a 3-1 win over French side
Lyon, take on strugglers Anzhi Makhachkala.
Zenit manager Andre Villas-Boas was pleased with the result and
his team's performance against Lyon.
"We've got nine points after three matches (in the
Champions League), it's a more than a satisfactory result," the former
Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur manager said.
"Now we need to turn our focus on the domestic league
where we're not so successful. This season we really have problems with our
"We will have to analyse the situation. And we need to
improve its performance quickly to keep alive our chances of retaining the
On Sunday Villas-Boas will serve the sixth and last match of
his touchline ban for pushing an official in Zenit's home defeat to Samara in
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