BY OMAR HALL | SportingAlert.com
Published on Nov. 27, 2013 7:02 a.m. CST . 0 comment
(Sporting Alert) — Defending UEFA Champions League title holders Bayern Munich head the list of teams in action in Matchday five on Wednesday night.
CSKA Moscow v Bayern Munich
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UEFA Champions League
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Bayern Munich will take on CSKA Moscow in their Group D encounter at Luzhniki Stadium, already booking a place into the knock-out after winning all four of their group games and will certainly start favorites to seal another three points.
The German champions will go into the game without striker Mario Mandzukic, who is still struggling with the calf injury he picked up during international duty with Croatia.
Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola has also confirmed that forwards Franck Ribéry and Claudio Pizarro, as well as winger Xherdan Shaqiri will all miss the game. Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has an ankle injury.
“We have a number of injury problems and will be without a number of players but I will put out our best available team,” the traveling boss said.
“We are already through to the knockout stages and there is a chance we may ease off. However, I don’t want my players to do so.”
Guardiola is expecting a tough encounter, but is confident his will come away with the victory.
“It won’t be easy. CSKA have some very good players and are strong at the back and in attack,” the former Barcelona manager said. “They are good at moving the ball forward quickly.
“It won’t be easy, but I think we should win.”
Midfielder Alan Dzagoev is is set to miss the game for CSKA Moscow although returning to training from a hamstring problem. Striker Seydou Doumbia will have a fitness test on a thigh injury before the game.
Manchester City v Plzen
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UEFA Champions League
Also in Group D, English Premier League outfits, Manchester City, who have also sealed a place into the last 16, will play FC Viktoria Plzen at Etihad Stadium.
Plzen, struggling in the group, is to pick up a point up to this point in the fixtures, and has already been knocked out of the Champions League with two games still left to be played.
Joe Hart will return in goal for the EPL side, as manager Manuel Pellegrini confirmed the England No. 1 will be recalled.
Pellegrini’s team has already guaranteed a last 16 slot, but the Chilean wants to finish as group winners.
“I think it is very important to win the group,” he said. “It is not the most important thing, the most important thing is to qualify, but I think it is important to be at the top.
“It’s also important to play well on Wednesday.
“We are not trying to score five or six goals every match here. The most important thing is to win and then we will see what happens.”
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