Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow
Competition: UEFA Champions League
Date: 5 December 2017
Kick-off: 20:45 CET
So what if they are second in the Premier League, and up until two weeks ago they had four wins in as many games in their Champions League group? I bet against (kind of) Manchester United, backing Basel to earn at least a draw, the Swiss side’s double chance was paying more than 1.80, and United didn’t just fail to win, but they actually got shocked in the 89th minute, losing the game. Mathematically (but… let’s be realistic, only mathematically), they haven’t qualified yet(!). If they lose to CSKA Moscow, and Basel beat Benfica in Lisbon, all three will finish on 12 points. Right now, United are at 7-2 goals (taking into account only the games against CSKA and Basel, leaving the Benfica matches aside). Basel are at 4-5, and CSKA are at 3-7. A… wild beyond description 3-0 CSKA win at Old Trafford, would push them second. How could United get left out? By losing 7-0 (that’s why I emphasized on “only mathematically” earlier). Last weekend, United triumphed 3-1 at Arsenal, but do keep in mind that the coming weekend they are facing Manchester City. They are second in the Premier League, behind only their city arch-rivals.
Everything was going great for CSKA Moscow two weeks ago until the 89th minute of Basel’s game against Man United. A couple of hours earlier, they had beaten Benfica 2-0 at home, they had kept their first clean sheet in a Champions League group stage match since November 2006 (can you believe that?… Last time CSKA had kept a clean sheet in a group stage game of the CL, Italy had just been crowned world champions, two World Cup finals have been held ever since, and we’re about to watch another one, in a few months), Basel were dropping points, so… all well. Then… Basel scored. Party-spoiler for CSKA, who are now level on points with the Swiss side, obliged to get a result better than them in Lisbon. For example, if Basel lose, CSKA need a draw at Old Trafford. If Basel draw at Benfica, CSKA need to win in England. If Basel win, it’s over for CSKA, even if the… unthinkable happens, and they beat United, unless that happens by three goals or more (good luck with that…). Worst case scenario, CSKA will finish third, and play Europa League football in February. Last Friday they… destroyed Tosno, 6-0, but they’re still third in Russia’s Premier League, seven points behind leaders Lokomotiv Moscow.
Previous five matches:
Arsenal vs Manchester United 1-3
Watford vs Manchester United 2-4
Manchester United vs Brighton 1-0
Basel vs Manchester United 1-0
Manchester United vs Newcastle United 4-1
CSKA Moscow vs Tosno 6-0
Rubin Kazan’ vs CSKA Moscow 0-1
CSKA Moscow vs Benfica 2-0
SKA Khabarovsk vs CSKA Moscow 2-4
Lokomotiv Moscow vs CSKA Moscow 2-2
United’s next game is on Sunday, again at home, versus Manchester City (England Premier League). Same day, CSKA will be visiting Spartak Moscow (Russia Premier League).
Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow: Head to head Stats
United have hosted CSKA twice before. They drew 3-3(!) in 2009, and they beat them 1-0 in 2015. Both were Champions League group stage games.
Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow: Prediction
United just played against Arsenal, they have a mega-derby versus Manchester City coming up, and they know they will qualify even if they lose (0-7, no, they are not going to lose 0-7, not in this universe). Mourinho is expected to rest some regulars. Will that prevent United from winning the game, against a very motivated CSKA? Deep down, I think not. Even United’s reserves are good enough to win this game, and I won’t be surprised if they score two or three goals, instead of earning a narrow 1-0 win.
Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow: Betting Tips
A simple United win pays just 1.40. “Over 2.5 goals” is at 1.78. These two combined, promise a decent 2.05.
More UEFA Champions League betting tips and match previews:
- Bayern Munich vs PSG
- Celtic vs Anderlecht
- Chelsea vs Atletico Madrid
- Roma vs Qarabag
- Barcelona vs Sporting
- Olympiakos vs Juventus
- Benfica vs Basel
- Maribor vs Sevilla
- Liverpool vs Spartak Moscow
- Feyenoord vs Napoli
- Shakhtar Donetsk vs Manchester City
- RB Leipzig vs Besiktas
- Porto vs Monaco
- Real Madrid vs Borussia Dortmund
- Tottenham vs APOEL Nicosia