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
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."For
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