Aguero To Fire City Past CSKA Moscow
CSKA Moscow v Man City
Manchester City take on CSKA Moscow with both sides desperately in need of a first win in Europe this season if they are to qualify from a tough group…
CSKA lie second in the Russian Premier League after ten games, two points adrift of leaders Zenit St Petersburg having lost just once in their domestic campaign so far. They crushed third-placed Kuban Krasnodar 6-0 on Saturday afternoon to move five points clear of their opponents at this early stage of the season. CSKA have lost both of their Champions League games so far after being hammered 5-1 by Roma in the Italian capital and losing out 1-0 to Bayern in their last European outing, meaning they’ve yet to take part in a draw in any of their 12 games to date this season.
Ivorian striker Seydou Doumbia hit a brace at the weekend to take his league tally to six for the season while Nigeria’s Ahmed Musa and Israeli Bebars Natcho have both notched five.
After running out comfortable 4-1 winners against Spurs on Saturday afternoon, Manchester City retained second spot in the Premier League, five points adrift of the searing pace being set by Chelsea with only one defeat suffered in eight league games. Manuel Pellegrini’s side are now undefeated in six games across three competitions since losing out 1-0 to Bayern in their opening Champions League group game. Sergio Aguero scored all four of his side’s goals against Tottenham over the weekend, and could even afford to miss a penalty. The Argentine now has seven goals in his last four games and ten in total for the season.
The hosts have both Alan Dzagoev and Pontus Wernblom suspended for this game and a long list of injury absentees including Rasmus Elm, Aleksandrs Cauna, Vitinho and Kirill Panchenko with all four of those sidelined by problems missing form their midfield.
Samir Nasri is again expected to miss out for City with a groin injury although the Frenchman has a slight chance of making the bench, while his countryman Eliaquim Mangala is a doubt with a stomach problem. Frank Lampard is also doubtful with a thigh complaint.
Head to Head
This is the second year in a row that the clubs have been paired in the group stages, with City winning both games on a 7-3 aggregate scoreline, with Aguero scoring four of those seven, including both goals in their victory 2-1 in Moscow. The now departed Alvaro Negredo hit a hat-trick for the hosts in a 5-2 in Manchester last November where Doumbia also scored twice.
This is a game City really have to win against the weakest side in their group as anything else would leave them needing a miracle in their last three games to qualify for the knockout rounds and they should achieve just that even if 11/20 prices are on the skinny side.
In Aguero they have one of the world’s best players at the top of his game at the moment though so the 3/1 on him bagging the first are worth taking while the 20/23 on any goal looks too good to refuse and the 17/4 on the ex-Atletico Madrid man to score two or more could prove great business for braver punters.