MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Sporting Alert – Champions League schedule for the final round of group matches on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
WATCHFUL EYES AT OLD TRAFFORD
After losing at Basel in the last game, the Red Devils will look to seal their place in the knockout round and will advance from Group A with just a draw against CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford.
Manchester United sits atop of the group with 12 points and will finish as group winners if they avoid defeat at home.
Meanwhile, CSKA Moscow is currently third in the standings with nine points, but can still advance.
But how can they though?
The Russian side will make the last 16 if it draws and there is a defeat for Benfica against Basel.
They can also move on with a big win over Manchester United, but this sounds the harder of the two, given that CSK Moscow is winless in their five previous games against Manchester United – all in the Champions League group stages, according to Opta Stats.
The traveling side has also failed to keep a clean sheet in those five games in any of those five previous games.
POGBA WILL START
In early team news for Manchester United, manager Jose Mourinho revealed ahead of kick-off that midfield playmaker Paul Pogba will be in the starting XI against the visitors.
Pogba had two assists in the 3-1 win over Arsenal in the English Premier League on Saturday, but was also sent off midway through the second half and will be inactive in the league for the next three fixtures.
“He’s very happy to play tomorrow,” Mourinho said on www.manutd.com.
“It’s the match that matters. He plays tomorrow. Of course, he’s a bit tired because it was a huge match last weekend and just two days to recover for CSKA.
“But he’s very happy to play tomorrow and to try to keep his momentum because since he was back from injury, he’s been phenomenal.”
DAVID de GEA GETS REST
Mourinho also confirmed that Sergio Romero in goal with David De Gea, who had record-matching 14 Premier League saves against Arsenal, getting a well-deserved rest.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is still working on his rehabilitation from the knee injury, remains questionable, while left-back Luke Shaw is pushing for a start.
Shaw’s “working to have an opportunity and sooner or later, the opportunity will arrive,” the Red Devils boss said.
“Because he deserves that opportunity. Selected for tomorrow, yes, for sure. To start or to be on the bench, I cannot answer.”
Defenders Eric Bailly and Phil Jones, as well as midfielders Marouane Fellaini and Michael Carrick, will all miss the game through injury.
OTHER CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SCHEDULE
In other games on the Champions League schedule on Tuesday, Chelsea faces a desperate Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge, Bayern Munich and PSG will battle in a Group B top of the table clash.
Barcelona will aim to lock-up Group D with a win at Camp Nou over Sporting CP, while Olympiakos and Juventus will face-off in the other matchup.
Elsewhere, Celtic and Anderlecht will meet, Benfica will try to end the group stages with a win against Basel, while Roma is the heavy favorite to beat Qarabag and join Chelsea in the knockout round from Group C.
UEFA Champions League Schedule – December 5
2:45pm Barcelona vs Sporting CP ESPN Deportes
2:45pm Bayern München vs PSG ESPN3, FOX Sports GO
2:45pm Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow Fox Sports 2, FOX Sports GO
2:45pm Benfica vs Basel Fox Soccer Plus, ESPN3
2:45pm Olympiakos Piraeus vs Juventus Fox Soccer Plus, ESPN3
2:45pm Chelsea vs Atlético Madrid Fox Soccer Plus, ESPN3
2:45pm Celtic vs Anderlecht Fox Soccer Plus, ESPN3
2:45pm Roma vs Qarabag Fox Soccer Plus, ESPN3