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PREVIEW - CSKA Moscow Vs. Manchester United

By redmaster on Oct 21, 2009 - Twitter:@manutdtalk

I know we've all been busy laughing at that shambles of a football club just down the East Lancs road, but it's back to business for us tonight in the Champions League as we face CSKA Moscow, and we have problems of our own.

Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney will definitely miss the game, Darren Fletcher and Evra were reportedly absent from the flight to Russia, and Nemanja Vidic and Dimitar Berbatov are major doubts for the game, but travelled just in case. Fergie is hopeful Vidic can play. "I'm hopeful Vidic will be all right, but he'll certainly be ready for the Liverpool game on Sunday," he said in yesterday's press conference.

With six points from six, it's hardly a must win game, but it'd be nice to take home three points and be able to chop and change the side for the next three group games while focusing on the Premier League.

One major obstacle could be the pitch. Or could it actually benefit us? If my memory serves me correctly we've never played on astroturf before. It is said to be perfectly flat and very bouncy. The defence will have to be aware of the extra bounce on the ball as it won't be the same as playing on grass. But the playing surface could be a good thing for our passing game. There will be no bobbles and if the pitch is watered before the game it'll be a very slick surface, just the way Fergie likes the pitch at Old Trafford, particularly for European nights.

The BBC are reporting the squad as follows:

Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Foster; Neville, Rafael, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Vidic, Brown, J Evans, Fabio; Valencia, Scholes, Carrick, C Evans, Anderson, Nani; Owen, Berbatov, Macheda, Welbeck.

From that, you would expect some kind of 4-3-3 / 4-5-1, with Scholes, Carrick and Anderson in midfield, and Nani, Berbatov and Valencia as a front three, but the way Fergie likes to rotate the squad these days, picking the starting XI is anyone's guess.
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