Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wolfsburg v CSKA Moscow: Germans seek more home comfort

SoccerNews in Bundesliga 13 Sep 2015

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Wolfsburg will be out to maintain a formidable home record when they welcome CSKA Moscow to the Volkswagen Arena in Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League action.

Dieter Hecking’s men have lost only once at home in 2015, as well as making a strong start to the new domestic season, picking up eight points from their first four games.

Hecking will be looking for an improvement on his side’s most recent performance, however, when they were held to a 0-0 home draw by newly promoted Ingolstadt, a game in which new recruits Julian Draxler and Dante both made their club debuts.

Wolfsburg did of course lose the services of key men Kevin De Bruyne and Ivan Perisic during the transfer window, but Dutch striker Bas Dost has been in impressive form and former Arsenal man Nicklas Bendtner has made several goalscoring cameos off the bench.

Tuesday’s clash will mark the home side’s first foray into the Champions League group stage since 2009 when, curiously enough, their opening game was also at home against CSKA and ended in a 2-1 victory.

The Russian side reversed that scoreline when the two sides met again in Moscow, however, en route to finishing second in the group, one place above their German opponents.

In terms of injuries for the hosts, winger Vieirinha is struggling to overcome a thigh problem sustained while away on international duty with Portugal, but otherwise, Hecking will have almost an entirely fit squad from which to make his final selection.

CSKA, meanwhile, have also made a strong start to their domestic season, setting a new club record by winning their opening seven games to top the Russian Premier League.

Their 100 per cent start to the campaign came to an end last weekend, however, when they were held to a 2-2 draw by third-placed Zenit.

One of CSKA’s goals against Zenit came from Seydou Doumba, taking the Ivorian striker’s tally to four from six games since returning to the club on loan from Roma.

And Ahmed Musa has been similarly prolific for Leonid Slutsky’s men, scoring five in eight.

The visitors did not appear to pick up any fresh injury concerns at the weekend and they will be looking for an improved Champions League campaign this time around having finished bottom of their group in the last two seasons.

To do so, however, they will surely have to improve upon a miserable record of four defeats from four trips to Germany.

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