Group G winners Sevilla being the knockout stage with a first leg match at Moscow against CSKA.
CSKA Moscow v Sevilla Preview
Sevilla will be shorthanded in the match as they will be without Luis Fabiano and Diego Capel. CSKA Moscow is in their pre-season and will have a challenge to play another team in the middle of their season. CSKA won their final match in the group stage to finish second, three points behind Manchester United. The Russian side had more than enough scoring in the group stage (10 goals for) but the defense conceded a group high 10 goals.
It will not be easy for Sevilla to get a win in Moscow for several factors. The match is an earlier start time (about 2 hours before most other CL matches) and the weather will be 30-40 degrees colder (forecast is for a high around 30 degrees Fahrenheit) than in Spain. Another factor that the La Liga side will have to deal with is the playing surface at the Luzhniki Stadium. It’s not natural grass but an artificial surface (FieldTurf) which is not ideal for most footballers.
Moscow were strong at home in the group stage but won’t be in mid-season form. Sevilla has the advantage of being in the middle of their season. Sevilla had a 4-1-1 record in the group stage with in impressive +7 goal difference. So, will CSKA get a lead in the first leg or will Sevilla get an upset on the road?
CSKA will have some advantages (as mentioned earlier) but Sevilla can neutralize that with their in-season form. It should be a close match ending in a draw or one goal win for the home side.
CSKA Moscow v Sevilla Prediction
The home field advantage will result in a CSKA Moscow 2-1 win.
CSKA Moscow v Sevilla Video Highlights
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