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Monday, December 7, 2009

Besiktas faces CSKA Moscow

CSKA Moscow needs to beat Besiktas in Istanbul and hope that Manchester United avoids defeat against Wolfsburg if the Russian side is to advance to the Champions League knockout stage on Tuesday.

United holds a three-point lead over Wolfsburg and CSKA Moscow, which beat the German club 2-1 in Moscow.

United, which will secure top spot with a draw at Wolfsburg on Tuesday, leads the group with 10 points. Wolfsburg and CSKA Moscow each have seven points. Besiktas has four. The top two teams in each group advance to the knockout stage.
CSKA Moscow comes into the game in poor form. It has just finished fifth in the Russian Premier League, its worst result in eight years.

The team will wear black armbands in memory of the 112 killed during a nightclub fire in the Urals city of Perm over the weekend.
CSKA will be without Chilean midfielder Mark Gonzalez, who is recovering from a long-term injury but expects to return next year.
"The team is ready to fight,'' Gonzalez said. "It will be a really hard game, but I predict a 2-0 win for us.''

Besiktas is third in the Turkish league, but will hope to draw inspiration from its 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford last month that ended a 23-match unbeaten home record in the Champions League for the English champions. United hadn't lost at Old Trafford since AC Milan triumphed there in February 2005 en route to the final.

Now, Besiktas is hoping to end its own drought at home where the hosts have yet to score a goal or win a point at the Inonu Stadium in this season's competition.
"Forget about the other game. Concentrate on your own game against CSKA. Your priority is to beat the Russians in front of your supporters,'' daily Sabah quoted Besiktas Coach Mustafa Denizli as saying on Monday. "We can take a look at the United-Wolfsburg result after our game and decide on what to do.''

CSKA Moscow coach Leonid Slutsky, whose team has been training at the Mediterranean resort of Belek in Turkey, said he expects a tough game.
"Besiktas is playing well at the moment. Every team has a leader, but we will be taking precautions against Ernst and Bobo,'' Slutsky was quoted as saying in Turkey's Radikal newspaper on Monday.

Besiktas has several injury concerns ahead of the game. Midfielder Erkan Zengin, goalkeeper Hakan Arikan and defender Ibrahim Kas are all likely to miss the game. Defender Matteo Ferrari missed training on Sunday due to a stomach infection and along with striker Filip Holosk is also a doubt.
The game will be refereed by Sweden's Martin Hansen, who failed to spot Thierry Henry's handball during the second leg of the France-Ireland World Cup playoff last month.

Source: Wires

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