AS Monaco VS CSKA Moscow Prediction
Group E of the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League looks one of the very balanced where after first half in the group phase we have all four sides in space of only three points. Leaders AS Monaco are topping the group with five points after three games and they can make vital step towards potential Round of 16 position when on Wednesday evening Leonardo Jardim’s side will be Russian champion CSKA Moscow. CSKA arrives in Principality of Monaco as the team on last (4th) position, but this can be suddenly changed if they manage to upset hosts from Monaco.
AS Monaco vs CSKA Moscow – Team News and Match Preview
Previous encounter between both teams was just two weeks ago when game at the new “Stadion PFK CSKA” in Russian capital ended with a draw – 1:1. CSKA opened the score in 34th minute when Lacina Traoré, who is on loan exactly by AS Monaco, has scored its first goal in the Champions League season. Few minutes before final whistle Monaco equalized after a goal by Portuguese winger Bernardo Silva.
Thus Monaco have extended their unbeaten form in the Champions League to six games, as they’re still undefeated since the 1-2 defeat by Fenerbahce in end of July. It has been followed by four consecutive defeats, three of them were in the qualifiers, and one of them was a surprising 2-1 success over Tottenham Hotspur at the “Wembley Stadium” in London. Thereafter “The Red and Whites” won two more points in closing minutes of following two legs, where despite the aforementioned draw in Moscow, Monaco avoided another defeat at home against Bayer Leverkusen, when defender Kamil Glik scored in 94th minute. That happened in Monaco’s first home match in this year’s group stages and Leonardo Jardim must boost confidence of his players here, since that game looks as the most comfortable for winning. Indeed, after their home game against CSKA Moscow, Monaco welcomes Tottenham three weeks later, while their last fixture will be against Bayer in Leverkusen. So you can easily understand how vital that game could be for the home side and victory can place them in really strong position. Otherwise they should chase same target against much trickier opponents, with all our respect for CSKA Moscow.
That 1-1 draw against Monaco could been a historical moment for the Russian club and personally for its goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev. The 30-year-old skipper of CSKA Moscow conceded a goal in 40th consecutive Champions League fixture and he was really close to put an end of that awful streak. Anyway, Leonid Slutsky won’t be so impressed by that negative tradition if he team fails to win a game, even if they concede, but it seems both things are going hand-to-hand. CSKA have won in only one of their last 12 Champions League group games and that happened last season, when they won 3-2 against PSV Eindhoven. Victory over Dutch team has been followed by three draws and four defeats, so “The Red-Blues” are looking forward to end that winless run on Wednesday evening. Eventual success of the Russian champions in Principality of Monaco can make situation in Group E incredibly dodgy.
AS Monaco vs CSKA Moscow – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
CSKA Moscow travels to Monaco without two key players who have both missed first leg in Moscow, as well as the two Moscow derbies during last two weekends. Alan Dzagoev still recovers from injury and he didn’t make it to Leonid Slutsky’s group, while Roman Eremenko is getting near to serve its 30-day ban imposed by UEFA. Meanwhile, defeats by Lokomotiv Moscow (0-1) and Spartak Moscow (1-3 on Saturday afternoon) are leaving CSKA on third position in Russian Premier League where they’re on seven points behind Zenit and Spartak. So virtually CSKA’s boss Leonid Slutsky finds himself in a real challenge and he must work for a way out from that crisis, since a defeat here may cost too much for his side.
On other hand we have hosts Monaco who are keen to remain on top of the group which goes through a positive outcome against CSKA. Leonardo Jardim remains without injured winger Nabil Dirar, but presence of Bernardo Silva and Thomas Lemar secures enough pace for Monaco on both flanks. We won’t be surprised if Leonardo Jardim starts with a 4-4-2 formation here as he may reintroduce experienced Portuguese midfielder João Moutinho in the starting lineup, who missed last weekend’s 1-1 draw in Saint-Ètienne. Now Moutinho is fully fit and he may start at the expense of Tiemoué Bakayoko. Another experienced player has been rested in the weekend – Italian defender Andrea Raggi, who may replace Benjamin Mendy from the starting squad here. Latter plays as a left-back, but he may be replaced by new French national team player Djibril Sidibe, so Raggi can start from the right side.
Expectations are that captain Falcao and Valère Germain may form partnership on top of Monaco’s formation here, which should be helpful for the likely breakthrough in CSKA’s defense.
Final conclusion and Betting Prediction
Monaco plays with confidence and team from the sovereign city-state, located on French Riviera, enjoys to a pleasing season so far. “The Red and Whites” are second in French Ligue 1 where they share same number with reigning champion PSG, but Monaco holds better goal difference, whilst both sides remain on six points behind surprising leaders Nice. Nevertheless, we must concentrate upon the European stage where Monaco comes with a really decent record as well, so they can be considered for the favourites. Moreover, Monaco remains unbeaten at its own “Stade Louis II” since 1st of April when they lost to Bordeaux, being winners in 9 of the following 11 home matches. Most impressive score among them is undoubtedly the 3-1 against PSG from end of August but Monaco surely regrets for missed opportunity to win against Bayer.
This time we expect Monaco to benefit from the home advantage, as well as from the negative record which CSKA owns. Besides conceding in 40 successive Champions League games, CSKA have lost eight of their last ten away games in the group stage of this competition.
Our 1X2 bet is backing the home side – AS Monaco to win its second UEFA Champions League fixture against CSKA Moscow on Wednesday night.
Venue: “Stade Louis II”, Monaco.
Referee: Matej Jug from Slovenia.
Possible starting lineups of AS Monaco and CSKA Moscow
AS Monaco: Danijel Subasic – Djibril Sidibe, Kamil Glik, Jemerson, Andrea Raggi – Bernardo Silva, Fabinho, João Moutinho, Thomas Lemar – Falcao, Valere Germain. (4-4-2)
CSKA Moscow: Igor Akinfeev – Mario Fernandes, Vasili Berezutski, Sergey Ignashevich, Georgi Schennikov – Bibras Natcho, Pontus Wernbloom – Zoran Tosic, Aleksandr Golovin, Aleksey Ionov – Lacina Traore. (4-2-3-1)