By Kiran Thakare
- Crucial game for both sides as they attempt to reach the knockout stages of Champions League
- Schneiderlin missed training for personal reasons, unlikely to play
- Both Jones and Memphis trained separate from main group, Jones should be available
Manchester United gear up to face CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford on Tuesday in the fourth matchday of Champions League group stages. This is a key for match for United’s aspirations in the Champions League.
The Red Devils sit second in their group as they are two points behind Wolfsburg. United came away with a crucial point from Russia in the reverse fixture.
The Old Trafford side was trailing in that match courtesy of a penalty in the first half, but they came back strong in second half by equalizing through a great header by Anthony Martial which helped them to salvage a point from the fixture.
Louis Van Gaal suggested that a point away is good in European games. He further insisted after the match that his team is on schedule to qualify for next stage as they are strong at home and they have two home fixtures remaining in the group stages.
Manchester United might have to make few changes from their previous match against CSKA Moscow. The Red Devils are without Antonio Valencia and Matteo Darmian is likely to fill in for him.
Phil Jones was in red zone so he missed the match against Crystal Palace but trained separately on Monday. It is likely that the back four will be the same which played against Palace.
Morgan Schneiderlin missed the training on Monday due to personal reasons. The centre midfield is likely to be a double pivot of Michael Carrick and Bastian Schweinsteiger as the Frenchmen has been playing many games on a trot. Ander Herrera will keep his position in the number ten role.
Memphis Depay trained alone on Monday, so Van Gaal will most likely not rush him to the first team duties after injury against Middlesbrough last week. The front three will most probably remain same .
Manchester United Predicted XI:
The Red Devils are going through a dire spell in final third as they have endured three consecutive goalless draws in all competitions.United are dominating possesion but lacking the incision in the final third.Anthony Martial has been the bright spark in the front three but not supported well by his other teammates in the attack.
On the other hand United have become a frustrating side to face as they have been solid defensively.They are not allowing the opposition to create clear cut chances and also distributing well from the back.
Van Gaal would be hoping that the goal drought ends against CSKA Moscow which could open the floodgates for his team in the attacking department.
CSKA Moscow has endured a mixed fortune in Champions League this year.They have grabbed one win,one loss and one draw similar to the Red Devils.The Russian side boast good amount of pace in their side and are threatening on counterattacks.
Seydou Doumbia has been in amazing form for the Russian side,as he has already scored 3 goals in group stages.He can create problems for United if given ample amount of space along with Nigerian forward Musa.