PFC CSKA Moskva coach Juande Ramos is relishing the opportunity to pit his wits against Manchester United FC and Sir Alex Ferguson when the three-time UEFA Champions League winners travel to Russia for their third Group B game holding a three-point lead in the standings. Sir Alex has already experienced plenty of euphoria at the Luzhniki Stadium, venue for the 2008 final win against Chelsea FC, but despite the emotions stirred by a return to the Russian capital and the prospect of facing Liverpool FC at the weekend, the United manager is fully focused on the task in hand.
Juande Ramos, CSKA coach
What I like about Russia is that the players are very disciplined, ready to listen and take on new things so training is very positive. Some United players won't feature but I'm sure they will find replacements, just as we will replace the players we are missing. The game will be a kind of barometer for us, showing how close we are to clubs like United. We will be looking to win, to pick up three points and have the chance to do that at home. They have a big match against Liverpool this weekend but [Wednesday's] game, in terms of emotion and the challenge will be comparable to Liverpool. I don't think they will take it easy in any way. Of course, two big matches so close to each other will make their coach shift the workload somehow, but they want to win the group so they need to play for victory.
Sir Alex Ferguson, United manager
Obviously I have fantastic memories [of the Moscow final] but these are things of the past. It was wonderful and I won't forget it but we have a more important match tomorrow. We have analysed CSKA quite a lot in the last two weeks. It is an interesting combination: they have more experienced players in the back four and good young players in front in [Miloš] Krasić and [Alan] Dzagoev. They keep the ball down all the time and show good speed. The [Russian] league becomes stronger and can be compared to other good leagues like Germany and France. There are new teams like FC Zenit St. Petersburg and FC Rubin Kazan – it shows there is room for people with ambition. CSKA are now fifth and need to win all the games to qualify for Europe, so that shows the level of the league. It's not an easy league at all. Our advantage is that we have very good players.
Wayne Rooney is among five key Manchester United FC players ruled out of Wednesday's UEFA Champions League fixture at PFC CSKA Moskva.
Hope over duo
Rooney misses out with a calf strain and remained in England along with Ryan Giggs, Patrice Evra, Ji-Sung Park and Darren Fletcher as the rest of the United squad headed to Russia on Monday afternoon. Giggs and Evra picked up knocks in Saturday's 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers FC, while Park and Fletcher both sat out that match. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson is nonetheless hopeful that striker Dimitar Berbatov and defender Nemanja Vidić will recover from minor complaints as United aim to keep up their perfect record in Group B.
17/10/09 PFC Spartak Nalchik 1-1 CSKA
(Amisulashvili 26; Krasić 2)
• The draw with Spartak Nalchik ended CSKA's run of three successive away defeats in the Premier-Liga, but with leaders FC Rubin Kazan winning they are now seven points off the summit.
17/10/09 Manchester United 2-1 Bolton Wanderers FC
(Knight 5og, Valencia 33; Taylor 75)
• The win took United back to the top of the Premier League as Chelsea lost 2-1 at Aston Villa FC. United have scored 20 goals in their last seven league games.
• Antonio Valencia scored his first goal for United since his summer move from Wigan Athletic FC. It was his first Premier League goal since December 2008, though he has scored twice for Ecuador this season.
Out: Mark González (ankle), Guilherme (thigh)
Doubtful: Vasili Berezutski (cold)
Misses next match if booked: none
Out: Wayne Rooney (calf), Ryan Giggs, Patrice Evra, Ji-Sung Park (knee), Darren Fletcher, Owen Hargreaves (knee),
Doubtful: Nemanja Vidić (ankle), Dimitar Berbatov
Misses next match if booked: Nemanja Vidić
• United are unbeaten in 13 away games in the UEFA Champions League but they are without a win in five matches against Russian clubs.
• Ramos faced United twice while manager of Tottenham Hotspur FC from October 2007 to October 2008, the first a 3-1 FA Cup fourth round defeat at Old Trafford in January 2008 and then a 1-1 league home draw the following month.
• United trio Rio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney were on the losing side at the Luzhniki Stadium with England in a UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier against Russia on 17 October 2007. CSKA's Aleksei Berezutski, Vasili Berezutski and Sergei Ignashevich were in the Russia team that earned a 2-1 victory, despite Rooney hitting the opening goal.