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LLTO Know Your Champions League Opponent: CSKA Moskow

Преображенский собор
Creative Commons License photo credit: И. Максим

Starting this Wednesday, Sevilla will take on Russian squad CSKA Moskow in a two match aggregate fight to make it into the final eight places.  Sevilla has to be considered the most fortunate club with their draw of a relatively unknown Russian squad that made it into the final sixteen spots by the skin of their teeth.  Still the club did give Man U a run for their m0ney in their group table, so you never know what will happen.

THE PAST

CSKA Moskow finished their most recent season (their schedule goes from March to December) in fifth place which is the worse they have done in the last four seasons.  The club won the league in 2006 and finished second place the following year followed by third place the year after.  They only allowed 18 goals this year in 30 matches, but the club also only scored 52 goals on offense. 

THE PRESENT

The club has yet to play a match since earlier December giving Sevilla a major edge in the competition.  It is a slightly bizarre situation with their extremely different timing in the schedule, but at least many of their players should be well rested and ready to go.  There fifth place finish for the 2009 season has to be considered a disappointment, but if they can go another round in the Champions League then fans of the most beautiful game in Russia will never forget the squad.

THE PREDICTION

I do think it will end up being closer then most people do.  This is a squad that only lost to Man U by one goal in their aggregate match-up last round.  But will the bizarre schedule help or hurt the Russians?  I don’t think the rest will favor them that much.  Sevilla should handle the surprise squad 5-2.

 

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