Quarter-final, second leg – Kick-off: 18-30 (CET)
First leg: Inter 1-0 CSKA Moscow
CSKA Moscow coach Leonid Slutsky hopes his side can make up for the absence of suspended first-teamers Evgeni Aldonin and Milos Krasic as they bid to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Internazionale in their Champions League quarter-final second leg.
“It’s always difficult to cope with losing two starters but we have more than 11 people in our team,” he said. “We have to make the changes to the lineup, but I really hope the quality of our game will not suffer.
I don’t think the artificial pitch at Luzhniki Stadium gives us any advantage. Judging by the Russian national team’s games at this arena and the way Russian clubs have played here in Europe, I really don’t think it makes much difference. The most important thing is to get the result.
“If we qualify without playing spectacular football I’m sure everyone at the club will be happy, but obviously we need to score and in order to do that we need to play more aggressively up front. However, we can’t afford to forget about the defence because if we concede a goal our mission will become almost impossible. So we will have to find the right balance between defence and attack.”
Meanwhile, opposing coach Jose Mourinho refused to give the hosts any clues as to how he would approach tonight’s game.
“I expect a very difficult match in which CSKA will give it all to improve the result,” said the Portuguese tactician “They are only 1-0 down. It’s not the same as being 3-0 down. As for our game plan, we can either defend a 0-0 draw or try to score one or two very important away goals. We will see tomorrow.
“It’s true [that we are less prolific in Europe than Serie A], but don’t forget that we have managed to win last our last four games in the Champions League, including beating Chelsea twice in a row. In the group stage we were up against the champions of their respective countries. You cannot compare Chelsea or CSKA with Bologna.
“Inter and Bayern Munich are the only two clubs remaining in Europe that can still win three trophies. These are more important facts to me than the lack of goals.”
Mourinho admitted he is willing to take a risk on the fitness of Wesley Sneijde despite the Dutch midfielder picking up an ankle injury in a challenge with team-mate Sulley Muntari yesterday.
Mourinho confirmed: “Sneijder has a problem. We must wait. I will make a decision at the last minute. This is the biggest game of the season. I am willing to take risks.”