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CSKA’s title ambition set for Terek test

23 October 2015, 12:05

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 national coach.

"That's the main reason for our insipid play after the break.

"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 on Monday."

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 defence.

"We will have to analyse the situation. And we need to improve its performance quickly to keep alive our chances of retaining the title."

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 August.

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