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CSKA Moscow vs Inter Milan: Champions League 2nd Leg Preview

Posted by David Schiavone Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Champions League rolls around once more and Inter travel to Moscow for the quarter-final second leg against CSKA. The Italian champions hold a 1-0 lead going into the game at the Luzhniki Stadium.

In the first leg Inter could have scored a couple more, especially in the second half when they were particularly wasteful in front of goal. Though, it must be remembered CSKA were extremely dangerous for the first 45 minutes especially through dynamic winger Milos Krasic, while centre midfielder Evgeni Aldonin was also a dominating force in the middle of the park. A tough game lies ahead for the Nerazzurri.

Going into the match Inter welcome back ‘Super’ Mario Balotelli who was also included and scored in the weekend’s 3-0 victory over Bologna. The 19 year-old striker had been in a well-publicised spat with the club and Jose Mourinho, but he has since apologised so should find a place on the bench in Moscow.

There have been concerns over Wesley Sneijder fitness as he injured a foot in training on Tuesday, though Jose Mourinho has confirmed he will play.

There have been concerns over the synthetic pitch at the Luzhniki, but Mourinho has been quick to extinguish any talk of it having a negative effect on the game, "We know how we want to play there, aware of the difficulties regarding the opposition and the artificial pitch, which will be a first for everyone," said Mourinho.

Inter, incidentally have scored in every away game, bar one, in the Champions League this season.

They will go into the game with Maicon and Lucio restored to the defence along with captain Javier Zanetti; all three missed the weekend’s match through suspension.

CSKA on the other hand are playing in their first ever Champions League quarter-final, though they will be confident they can overturn the 1 goal deficit. Though they will have to do it without the aforementioned Krasic and Aldonin, who are both suspended for the match after picking up bookings in the first leg.

Young starlet Alan Dzagoev is likely to be drafted into the first eleven and it could be his chance to shine on a global stage; he already scored one in the 3-3 draw with Manchester United earlier in the campaign.

The Russian side haven’t played since the match in the San Siro so should be fresh and well aware of the task at hand.
Jose Mourinho’s men will be under no illusions of the task that faces them, avoid defeat and the semi-final is there. They managed to win away when they schooled a Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge, thus a victory in Russia should not be a problem.

Mourinho’s number one objective is European glory and failure is not an option, Inter will thus keep it tight at the back and look to exploit a CSKA side who must score to have any chance of progressing further in the competition.

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