Paris Saint Germain v CSKA Moscow
PSG go into the game at Parc des Princes knowing that a win will take them through to the knock-out stages whatever the result in Group H’s other encounter.
“If we qualify that means we’re among the top 16 teams in the Champions League and that would be a huge satisfaction for myself and the squad,” said PSG coach Vahid Halilhodzic.
“When the draw was made I said it wouldn’t be easy. Chelsea are one of the best two teams in Europe, Porto are the defending champions and CSKA were Russian champions. To qualify would be a huge achievement.”
Goals have been hard to come by this season. In 24 games this season PSG have scored just 24 goals, and the coach is keen to improve on that record, saying: “We have to play more aggressively. Even though we know a draw may be good enough we’ll send out a team to win. It’s a question of application, desire and confidence no matter what system you choose.”
Despite needing goals, the Bosnian coach is likely to again employ a lone striker, Pauleta, and a five-man midfield.
Former West Ham loanee Edouard Cisse is set to return in the middle of the park after serving a domestic suspension against Lille last weekend.
However, they will once again be without the services of France international Jerome Rothen who has yet to recover from a broken ankle.
CSKA also still preserve hopes of qualifying but must take maximum points from tonight’s game.
Their cause is not helped by injuries to key trio Ivica Olic, Daniel Carvalho and Chidi Odiah.
CSKA’s season ended in mid-November but the y enjoyed a friendly win over Mlaga last week.
“The Málaga match was useful,” said coach Valeriy Gazzaev. “Of course friendly matches aren’t the same as competitive fixtures but it was the only possibility we had to keep in shape.”
“I think the two teams are at the same level and have an equal chance of winning. The 90 minutes will reveal everything,” said Gazzaev.