Thursday, December 3, 2020

Prediction: Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow

Verdict: Manchester United to win at under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 5/2

Bookmaker: Bet365

Manchester United know a point will secure qualification to the Champions League knock-out stages as group winners when they host CSKA Moscow on Tuesday night.

Manchester United

Jose Mourinho goes into the match on Tuesday night knowing that they will qualify as group winners as long as they avoid a five-goal defeat by CSKA Moscow.

This means that the Portuguese manager will likely make significant changes to his Manchester United team with one eye on the huge Premier League derby against Manchester City next Sunday. Nonetheless, Paul Pogba looks set to keep his place in the starting line-up because of his imminent three-game suspension domestically for the red card he picked up on the weekend. The Red Devils smashed their Russian rivals 4-1 in the return fixture in September but they could be in for a tougher test this time around as Viktor Goncharenko’s men are bang in form and went the whole of November unbeaten.  Having said that, Manchester United are enjoying a great run themselves and their 3-1 win away at Arsenal made it three victories in a row. Mourinho is unlikely to settle for the draw needed which could set up an entertaining clash.

Team News

Phil Jones could set to miss the game again after struggling to recover from his thigh injury.

Michael Carrick is still a long-term absentee, while Eric Bailly, Marouane Fellaini and Nemanja Matic are all doubts.

CSKA Moscow

Contrary to Manchester United, CSKA Moscow have it all to play for and need to better FC Basel’s result against Benfica if they are to qualify for the knock-out stages.

However, the Portuguese giants have struggled this season and are yet to pick up a point, meaning Goncharenko’s chances look extremely slim. CSKA have won five and drawn one of their last six matches, and are coming into the game on the back of a 6-0 thrashing of FC Tosno, but they know it will be difficult against a United side who have won their last 12 competitive matches at Old Trafford. The Russian team will have nothing to lose though, especially knowing they will still extend their stay in Europe through the Europa League even if they don’t get a result. It could make for an entertaining clash between the two sides and CSKA’s record away from home in the competition has been unblemished, recording 2-1 victories in both matches so far.

Team News

Pontus Wernbloom and Bibras Natcho are both suspended for CSKA.

Georgi Schennikov, Aleksay Berezutski and Georgi Milanov are all injured.

Key Factors to Consider

  • CSKA Moscow are winless in their last five meetings against Manchester United (D2 L3). They have also failed to keep a clean sheet in all of those games
  • The Red Devils have only lost two of their last 48 Champions League group games at Old Trafford (W34 D12)
  • CSKA have won both of their away games in the competition this season by a 2-1 scoreline
  • The Russian team have failed to reach the knockout stages in their previous four Champions League appearances
  • There have been under 2.5 goals in Manchester United’s last three games in the competition


Manchester United have enough discipline in defence to ensure that CSKA Moscow will be in for a very frustrating night. The Red Devils record at home in the Champions League is phenomenal and it looks set to continue here.

Verdict: Manchester United to win at under 2.5 goals

Best Odds: 5/2

Bookmaker: Bet365





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