CSKA Moscow vs Tottenham – Champions League Preview

CSKA Moscow vs Tottenham – Champions League Preview

CSKA Moscow vs Tottenham Hotspur will be the first Champions League match in the brand new Arena CSKA (read all about this in CSKA Moscow’s full Champions League preview). It will also be the first time that a Russian club faces a team from England since the fan unrest that involved groups from both countries during the European Championships in France (read about here).

As a result, the Gov.uk has issued a travel advisory for Tottenham fans travelling to Russia. The page has told fans to “avoid wearing club colours or displaying banners in and around the city. Banners at the match are welcome.” In addition, Tottenham Hotspur’s supporters trust has also told their fans to be “more vigilant” in light of the “awful” scenes in Marseille and Lille, in which CSKA fans were involved.

Never shy of stirring up controversy with screaming headlines, the potential trouble between English and Russian fans has been at the forefront in newspapers in the United Kingdom. But while CSKA Moscow fans are indeed anything but innocent there has been very little violence between travelling fans and Russian fans at European matches in recent years—Futbolgrad was in attendance for CSKA’s match against Manchester United last season in what was a peaceful affair.

On the pitch, the match should be an interesting event, as CSKA Moscow surprised Bayer Leverkusen on match day one of the Champions League after coming back from 2-0 down to secure a draw in Germany. Tottenham, meanwhile, lost their first home match at the Wembley Stadium to AS Monaco FC.

Hence, Tottenham are under pressure to get a positive result in Moscow in order that Mauricio Pocchetino’s men do not fall too far to far behind in the race to secure one of the two top spots in Group E.

CSKA, meanwhile, demonstrated last season against Manchester United that they are no pushovers at home against English sides. In fact, CSKA has a relatively even record against English teams when playing in Moscow, with two wins, two ties, and three loses.

Furthermore, many of those games were played at the Khimki Arena, which was the club’s temporary home during the construction of Arena CSKA, on the outskirts of Moscow. Located closer to the city centre, and within walking distance to several Metro stations (Sokol, Aeroport, Oktyabrskoye Pole, Polezhaevskaya) Arena CSKA should provide an electric atmosphere on Tuesday night, and don’t be surprised if CSKA Moscow take Tottenham all the way to secure a point, or even a win.

Possible Line-ups


Formation: 4-2-3-1

Lloris – Davies, Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Walker – Dier, Alli – N’Koudou, Eriksen, Lamela – Janssen

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

CSKA Moscow:

Formation: 4-2-3-1

Akinfeev – Schennikov, V. Berezutski, Ignashevich, Mário Fernandes – Wernbloom, Dzagoev – Golovin, Eremenko, Tosić – Traoré

Manager: Leonid Slutsky

By Manuel Veth –