Created on 16-09-2013 at 14:09 PM
For the first time in their long European history, Bayern play CSKA Moscow in a competitive fixture on Tuesday evening. The Russian champions and cup winners narrowly finished ahead of the previous season’s winners Zenit Saint Petersburg in the league, and beat Anzhi Makhachkala on penalties in the domestic cup final. fcbayern.de introduces the German treble winners’ first Champions League opponents.
The Central Sport Club of the Army Moscow was founded in 1911 and has undergone numerous name changes in the past, like many ex-communist clubs. The football club has been officially called PFC CSKA Moscow since 1994.
CSKA boast a total of eleven championships (seven in the Soviet era, four as Russian champions) and twelve cup wins (seven and five). Their greatest international success dates back eight years when they became the first Russian team to win a European trophy, beating Sporting Lisbon 3-1 in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup final. At that point in time, ex-Bayern player Ivica Olic was in the Russians’ squad. Four players remain from that victory: keeper Igor Akinfeev, defender Sergei Ignashevich and the Berezutski twins.
CSKA usually play their home games at the 18,500 capacity Khimki Arena. They have generally relocated to the biggest Russian arena, the Luzhniki Olympic Stadium, for matches in the Champions League, but that will not be possible for the home meeting with Bayern in November, as the complex is being rebuilt for the 2018 World Cup. Last weekend CSKA had to move their match against Rostov to the stadium operated by local rivals Torpedo, as the pitch at the Khimki Arena was unplayable due to overuse within a short space of time.
Champions League history:
CSKA are competing in the Champions League for the seventh time, the second-best total for a Russian club behind fellow Moscow club Spartak (11 appearances). The former army team’s biggest success was reaching the quarter finals in 2009/10. However, their run was halted by two 1-0 defeats to eventual winners Inter Milan. Two years later, CSKA were knocked out by Real Madrid in the Round of 16.
CSKA have only won two of their last ten Champions League matches. Both wins were in the 2011/12 group phase, a 3-0 victory against Trabzonspor and a famous 2-1 win against Inter. Of the other matches, the men from the Russian capital have lost five and drawn three. They also have yet to win their first match of a Champions League season: in six starts, their record is three draws and three defeats.
In the Russian Premier League, the former army club lead the table after eight matches, three points ahead of Spartak Moscow and Zenit Saint Petersburg. CSKA have made their best start to a season in the last 20 years with 20 points so far, two points more than at the same stage of the 2012/13 championship season.
Leonid Slutsky took over as head coach in October 2009 and led CSKA to the Champions League quarter-finals in his first season. Before joining CSKA, the 42-year-old coached Sovetov Samara and FC Moscow. His nascent playing career ended abruptly as a 19-year-old, when he injured his knee while trying to save a neighbour’s cat from a tree.
The ex-goalkeeper has an even record against German teams: he guided CSKA to victory over VfL Wolfsburg (2-1) in the Champions League group stage in November 2009. In 2006/07 his FC Moscow side met Hertha BSC in the third round of the now-defunct UEFA Intertoto Cup, losing one game (2-0) and drawing the other (0-0).
The Russians’ best-known players are captain and goalkeeper Akinfeev, playmaker Alan Dzagoev, Japanese star Keisuke Honda and Swedish pair Pontus Wernbloom and Rasmus Elm. These two represented their country in October 2012, when Germany took a 4-0 lead against the men in yellow and blue but were pegged back to a 4-4 draw. Elm scored a famous equaliser in the third minute of stoppage time.
The dangerous forwards are Nigerian Ahmed Musa (five goals in eight matches) and Ivory Coast international Seydou Doumbia (four goals in the league, five goals in seven Champions League appearances). However, CSKA will be below full strength in Munich as Dzagoev and Elm are out injured, with Mark Gonzalez and Mario Fernandes also unavailable.
In the first two matches of the Russian Premier Liga, Slutsky played a 4-4-2 formation with Musa and Vagner Love as strikers. After Love left the club for Chinese outfit Shandong Luneng, Slutsky adopted a 4-2-3-1 line-up instead. Musa and Doumbia have been alternating as the lone striker.