CSKA boss previews 'watershed game'
- 23 October 2013 09:02
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
All eyes on Moscow as City prepare for the Champions League clash with CSKA this evening.
As expected the game dominates today’s City headlines, with much talk of the pitch not being perfect, as well as the Russian October temperatures (beachwear not required).
Meanwhile his opposite number, CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky, has spoken of the importance of the game as well as choosing to emphasise a difference in skill level between the two sides.
The Guardian quotes Slutsky as saying: "We now have watershed games. It is usually the same that the third and fourth games are the most decisive ones. Tomorrow is a key game and a lot will be understood after it but none of the teams will have progressed to the next stage yet."
He added: “It is very hard to focus on any individuals. They have such great competition within the team. [Yaya] Touré, Fernandinho, [Joe] Hart – and they can allow themselves not to play [James] Milner, who is one of the key players for the English national team. That says a lot about them. We don't have any advantage in terms of skills of players but we can oppose them in our battles on the pitch, one on one, these kind of things."
It won’t surprise many fans to see that Yaya Toure is seen as pivotal to City’s hopes, and he’ll be facing CSKA danger man, Keisuke Honda.
The report reads: “Linked with many of Europe’s top sides Honda is the man that can make things tick for CSKA. The Japan international is the player boss Leonid Slutsky looks to pull the strings at the heart of his midfield. The 27-year-old loves to get forward and join the attack possessing a powerful shot and is something of a free-kick specialist and has the ability to cause City untold problems if allowed too much space.
“After a dip in form last season Toure has been back to his battling best under boss Pelligrini. The midfield powerhouse can destroy teams with his late runs into the box and will have a big say in how City’s evening pans out in Moscow.”
Finally, even on matchday there is a crumb of transfer news, with the Mirror suggesting City will go up against Barcelona in an attempt to sign a Spanish wonderkid dubbed “the new Messi” – he’s only 14, by the way.
Currently with Pellegrini’s former side, Malaga, Brahim Abdelkader is already catching the eye of some of Europe’s major clubs.
Liam Prenderville explains: “Already compared to Lionel Messi, the 14-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, with the Catalan club having two previous bids rejected by their La Liga rivals.
“Barcelona's offer is believed to have been as high as £2.5m, as the club introduced the prodigy to first team players including his idol and Argentinian superstar Messi, in an attempt to force through a move.”
Remember, when any transfers are confirmed we’ll be first with the news, right here on mcfc.co.uk.