Stadium: Arena CSKA
Date: 27/09/16, 19:45 CET
Harry Kane – Injured (ankle ligament) – Last Played: 18/09/16
Daniel Rose – Cramp
Tottenham Hotspur came to a grueling 1-0 win over Sunderland on Sunday, with Harry Kane scoring the only goal of the match. The collective unit and close wins is a feature that critics felt previous seasons’ Tottenham have lacked.
Despite a hard fought defensive game by Sunderland, it was only a matter of time before prolific striker Harry Kane exploited a blunder by Papy Djilobodji to slip the ball into the right corner past Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. Tottenham overwhelmingly controlled possession, shots on target, and attempts.
But it wasn’t all roses and dandelions for either side. In the dying moments, Kane suffered a collision with the same blundering defender, Djilobodji, and suffered an awkward fall, while on-loan player for Sunderland Adnan Januzaj received his second yellow in the 90th minute. Kane was stretchered off the pitch and later ruled out for 8 weeks, a tremendous blow for the club in losing such a powerful attacking figure. Tottenham play their second UCL match at home in Wembley, having lost to AC Monaco in their last game. Tottenham remain on the bottom of the group with 0 points, while CSKA Moscow and Bayer Leverkusen are tied with 1 point.
Tottenham are leaving no chances when facing what many have remarked to be a easy group. Despite not drawing a European giant, the club still faces an upwards climb in ensuring a strong finish at the end of the stage. Tottenham’s loss 1-2 versus Monaco saw the team field a relatively 1st squad team, including Lloris, Kane, the backline of veterans Kyle Walker and Jan Vertoghen, while Eric Dier continues in midfield for the club.
Harry Redknapp, former Tottenham manager, has made a bold prediction, stating he believes that Tottenham will pull a victory, despite being so far from home. Referring to the famous cold weather of Moscow, Redknapp notes that a poor time to play away would be in January.
Tottenham are fortunate to not be playing in the rather blistering cold weather that Moscow is so well known for, but not so fortunate at having to play a catch-up game in their UCL group, compounded by the problem of playing that game so far from home.
Vincent Janssen will likely be replacing Harry Kane in the starting lineup, hoping to use this opportunity to impress manager Mauricio Pochettino. Speaking about his former club, striker Darren Bent remarked that not only would Tottenham dearly miss Harry Kane, but the pressure would be even higher for Janssen, considering that the expectations at the English club are so elevated. While Janssen has been praised for his energy, with manager Pochettino remarking that he is a “fighter”, it’s simply a matter of finishing for Janssen. The player muses that he hopes to play alongside Kane rather than be relegated to the bench upon his return, but it will be a difficult task in emulating the spectacular finishing ability of Harry Kane.
Despite holding a strong 3rd place in the Premier League, Tottenham have only scored 8 goals, the least of the top 5, and their attacking woes are not set to get any better with Kane injured. With league and European games looming ominously against what increasingly looks like a thin squad, expect Tottenham to struggle on Tuesday.
Aleksanders Cauna – Broken toe
Mario Fernandes – Knee injury
Alan Dzagoev – Hamstring Injury
CSKA’s last match amounted to a 2-1 victory over Krylia Sovelov. CSKA has had a history of miminal competition in fighting for its European spot, but despite placing last season in 2nd place, the club hasn’t had much success in the Champions League. The Russian League offers only two spots in the UCL, so alongside CSKA Moscow, Zenit St. Petersburg is playing this season in the Champions League.
CSKA Moscow showed incredible resolve to claw back a draw after going 2 goals down against German team Bayer Leverkusen, leaving them with 1 point in this year’s Champions League group. Both goals came in a rapid fire 2 minutes, scored in the 36th minute and the 38th to leave a fantastic end to a volatile first half. Alan Dzagoev, who missed this year’s Euro 2016 for Russia, returned to score. Roman Eremeko leveled the score to leave CSKA Moscow with the win.
The second match for CSKA Moscow will be played in their home turf, giving them a particular advantage against Tottenham. The English club released a statement on their website, seeking to give advice to their travelling fans, and urging them to not display their team colors outside of the football stadium.
Fear evidently lingers on the minds of football organizers, who watched English and Russian fans clash violently in the Euro 2016 match between France and England, hosted in Marseille, France. Tottenham, as well as the FCO, plead for heightened vigilance for travelling fans, reminded them that they are “ambassadors” of the club, and are to act as such.
According to The Telegraph, only 250 Tottenham fans will be travelling to Moscow to support their team. Tottenham has also mentioned that the match will be played in the Arena CSKA, the brand new home stadium of CSKA that has been constructed for 5 years. Earlier in preseason, Chelsea, a fellow London club, was scheduled to add to their already full schedule by playing a friendly at the brand-new stadium, but the match never materialized, likely to the relief of Chelsea players.
Watch for on-loan enormous striker Traoré to make an impact in this game. The Ivory Coast international, on loan from Monaco, won’t be able to play against his owner club in the next match, meaning he has this last game to make an impact and secure a spot in the top two of the Champions League group.
Prediction: CSKA MOSCOW 2-1 TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR