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CSKA face derby test at Lokomotiv

21 October 2016, 11:31

Moscow - Reigning champions CSKA Moscow face a tough test of their title credentials this weekend in the city derby against Lokomotiv.

CSKA are third in the Russian Premier League, one point behind Spartak.

Coach Leonid Slutsky said CSKA were still experiencing problems but hoped his players would recover completely from a Champions League 1-1 draw with Monaco.

"My men gave all they had against Monaco," he told journalists. "Unfortunately that wasn't enough to win.

"Lokomotiv have performed below par this season so far. But the Moscow derby is a special case and I expect that they'll fight tooth and nail against us."

CSKA will still be without Finland international Roman Eremenko, who was suspended by FIFA and UEFA for 30 days this month for reasons yet to be revealed.

Also read: CSKA look for response after Cup drubbing

The 29-year-old midfielder refused to comment saying only that he expected the verdict on his case "in the near future".

Russian international playmaker Alan Dzagoev is still on his way back from injury and is unlikely to play on Sunday.

Lokomotiv coach Yury Semin said he was optimistic about his team's chances in the derby with CSKA despite his team failing to win in their last eight meetings with the Red Army outfit.

"We performed really well in our previous game at Perm," Semin said.

"We've done a lot of work in training and I was pleased to see that my men are full of enthusiasm. A success in Sunday's derby could be a turning point for us."

Spartak, who top the table courtesy of winning more matches than second-placed Zenit St Petersburg, who are level on points, bounced back from three consecutive domestic defeats to beat Rostov 1-0 a week ago.

They visit lowly Ural Yekaterinburg with manager Massimo Carrera warning his men that Ural could be dangerous after suffered a 2-0 home defeat to Zenit last time out.

"We gained a very important win last week," Carrera told his club's official site. "But we should never rest on our laurels as the battle for the title is now in full swing.

"I expect a tough match at Yekaterinburg as Ural are likely to try to show their best in a clash with the league leaders in front of their home crowd."

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