Man Utd v CSKA preview
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By James Riach. Last Updated: 03/11/09 3:05pm
Owen: Could start for United
Michael Owen is set to lead the line for Manchester United against CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League.
United take on CSKA at Old Trafford having beaten them 1-0 a fortnight ago in the Russian capital, when a late Antonio Valencia strike ensured they continued their 100 per cent start in Europe this term.
Sir Alex Ferguson's side are currently top of Group B with three wins from three, and will be the favourites against a Moscow outfit who recently disposed of former manager Juande Ramos.
New CSKA coach Leonid Slutski and his players may feel they have something to prove after the 1-0 reverse against the Red Devils last time out, although they face a tough task as United are unbeaten in their last 22 Champions League games at Old Trafford.
With Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney both doubtful for the match, Owen is in line for a starting berth after coming on as a substitute in United's last European game.
Rooney has just become a father for the first time and may not make an appearance, while Berbatov is struggling with a knee injury.
Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic (both calf) are also unavailable, so Ferguson is likely to continue with the defensive partnership of Wes Brown and Jonny Evans, who saw United to a 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers in the Premier League on Saturday.
However, midfielder Darren Fletcher will start the match, after being an unused substitute in the win against Blackburn, having been out since early October with an ankle injury.
Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-sung (both knee) will miss out though, as United look for only their second victory over Russian opposition in seven games.
CSKA will be looking for their first ever victory on English soil, however, they will have positive memories of their last trip when they drew 1-1 with Aston Villa in the Europa League last season - eventually beating them 3-1 on aggregate.
The 2004/05 Uefa Cup champions have so far accrued just three points in Europe this term, with their only win coming in a 2-1 victory over Turkish side Besiktas.
Former Liverpool winger Mark Gonzalez is out for the trip to Manchester with an ankle injury, and has been ruled out for the rest of the year having undergone surgery.
Sekou Oliseh has not travelled after suffering a hip problem in the pre-match warm-up against FC Terik on Friday, while Guilherme is also out.
New CSKA coach Slutski said: "This is a good opportunity to see the team play on such a big stage.
"We won't be treating the game any differently though because, with respect to the opposition, CSKA also have very capable players.
"We intend to attack but I'm still getting to know the team which makes the task doubly difficult."
UEFA Champions League
Tue 3rd Nov - Group D
A Madrid2 - 2Chelsea
Apoel Nicosia0 - 1FC Porto
Tue 3rd Nov - Group A
Bay Munich0 - 2Bordeaux
Maccabi Haifa0 - 1Juventus
Tue 3rd Nov - Group C
Marseille6 - 1FC Zurich
AC Milan1 - 1R Madrid
Tue 3rd Nov - Group B
Man Utd3 - 3CSKA Mosc
Besiktas0 - 3Wolfsburg
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|1||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group D
|3||FC Viktoria Plzen||6||3|
UEFA Champions League Group E
|4||FC Steaua Bucuresti||5||3|
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
|2||Zenit St. Petersburg||5||6|
UEFA Champions League Group H