Bottom-of-the-table CSKA Moscow must avoid defeat to Wolfsburg in Group B on matchday five in order to maintain their hopes of Champions League progression.
The Russian outfit – looking to avoid a third straight group-stage elimination – lie two points adrift of their German opponents but have the opportunity to build on their four-game unbeaten run at home in Europe this year at Arena Khimki on Wednesday.
Dieter Hecking’s side slipped to third place following their 2-0 defeat to PSV Eindhoven last time out, but remain one point off Manchester United in top spot.
Wolfsburg will head to Russia’s capital on the back of a 6-0 Bundesliga mauling of Werder Bremen.
Hecking believes the result provided a huge boost in confidence for his players ahead of the away trip.
“When you win 6-0, there is very little to criticise,” he said.
“Klaus Allofs [Wolfsburg’s sporting director] and I wanted to find the right point in time to address the emotionless displays in Eindhoven and Mainz.
“Something which I found very positive was how the team got together without the presence of those sportingly responsible. Apparently we, and the players, found the right words.
“Now we can go into the Champions League game in Moscow very confidently, although we are very well aware that it is a completely different game.”
CSKA, meanwhile, have lost four consecutive matches in all competitions following their 2-0 defeat to out-of-form Krylya Sovetov in the league.
Head coach Leonid Slutsky admits there are problems within his team and he is eager to achieve a positive result against Wolfsburg to address their slump.
“We are not in the best state. You must try to compensate for this, [but] today it could not done,” he said following Saturday’s loss.
“It is clear that the following match is extremely important, we are not approaching it in the best emotional state. But we will try our best to change the situation.
“Each team has periods of recession. It would be better that these declines were minimal – or not at all. Unfortunately, we are now just in this state.”
Slutsky confirmed he would be without Roman Eremenko, Seydou Doumbia and Vasili Berezutski for the clash due to injury.
Wolfsburg’s Julian Draxler scored the only goal of the game in the reverse fixture in September.
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