It’s a trip to Russia for 13-time winners and current Champions League (CL) holders Real Madrid, as they face CSKA Moskva, a team that’s never lost to Spanish opposition at home (W1, D3). This game will be held at Russia’s national stadium (capacity: 81,000), rather than CSKA’s VEB Arena (capacity: 30,000).
The hosts will hope for a better group stage campaign than 2017/18 when they lost two of three games held in Moscow. However CSKA have recorded four wins in their last eight European home games (W4, D1, L3), and did manage a 1-1 draw in their only previous home encounter against Madrid (2011/12 Round-of-16).
One thing recent CSKA games have guaranteed is first-half action – they haven’t been drawing at half-time in any of their last seven matches (in all competitions).
An action-packed first period is something these teams have in common – in Madrid’s three away league games this season, they’ve conceded five first-half goals. Still, the visitors will be confident after beating Roma 3-0 in their CL opener, and in the knowledge that they’ve made it to the competition’s semi-finals or further, for eight-consecutive seasons.
Additionally Madrid have lost just three of their last 18 European away games (W11, D4, L3), winning two of three CL group stage away trips last season (W2, L1).
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Players to watch: Fyodor Chalov tops the Russian Premier League scoring charts with seven goals. Meanwhile, Karim Benzema is Madrid’s top scorer in La Liga this season with four goals.
Stat attack: In each of their last four CL group stage campaigns, CSKA have failed to score in just one of their three home games.
Both teams have scored in seven of Madrid’s last eight away matches (in all competitions).
Madrid have scored at least two goals in ten of their last 12 away games (in all competitions).
Will not play
Referee: Hategan O. (Rou)
Venue: Luzhniki Arena (Moscow)