In the latest round of 2020-21 Russian Premier League action, fifth-placed Akhmat Grozny welcomes capital city giants CSKA Moscow to the Akhmat-Arena.
CSKA Moscow started the season with two wins from its opening two games but has only managed to gain one point from the three matches it has played since. It is the complete opposite for Akhmat, which has seen a turn of fortune in its most recent trio of games, winning all three.
Both teams are similar in the sense that they play an attacking brand of football and have shown worrying signs of complacency at the back. Akhmat and CSKA have only kept one clean sheet each in the league this season. In its most recent fixture, CSKA conceded a late equaliser to drop two points, while Akhmat was lucky to survive after squandering a 2-0 lead to finally win 3-2.
This promises to be an exciting encounter with open attacking football at either end. It remains to be seen which side will be the more clinical of the two, and which will have a better outing defensively.
Akhmat Grozny vs CSKA Moscow Head-to-Head
The head-to-head statistics rule heavily in favour of the visitors from Moscow. CSKA Moscow has won eight of the last 10 meetings in the league, including the last five in a row. Akhmat has registered only one victory over CSKA Moscow in recent history, a narrow 1-0 win three years ago. CSKA Moscow dominated this fixture last season, winning 3-0 at home and 4-0 away.
Akhmat Grozny form: W-W-W-L-D
CSKA Moscow form: D-L-L-W-W
Akhmat Grozny vs CSKA Moscow team news
The home side has shown a staggering lack of discipline so far, with three red cards issued to its players already. Its last match contributed heavily to that tally, as both Marat Bystrov and Anton Shvets were sent off in the second half. Shvets was later deemed to have been sent off unfairly, so he will be available for selection.
Interestingly, Akhmat Grozny has also witnessed red cards being dished out to its opponents left, right and center, with three red cards going in its favour.
Akhmat has no new injuries to worry about, as center-back Wilker Angel remains manager Andrei Viktorovich Talalayev's only absentee. Forward Vladimir Ilyin has three goals to his name already and will be looking to add to his tally.
Injuries: Wilker Angel
Suspension: Marat Bystrov
CSKA Moscow continues to miss club legend and key playmaker Alan Dzagoev, who is still suffering from a muscle injury. The capital club has fielded Nikola Vlasic - its 2019-20 player of the season - in the middle of the park on a few occassions to good effect, and will likely do the same in Chechnya.
Viktor Goncharenko doesn't have the same suspension concerns as his counterpart, but he will have to manage without Ilzat Akhmetov and Kirill Nababkin, who are still recovering from injury. Striker Fedor Chalov, who has returned to the starting line-up after a recent injury, will look to regain his goalscoring touch.
New signing Chidera Ejuke has only just put pen to paper and might make the bench for this one.
Injuries: Alan Dzagoev, Ilzat Akhmetov, Kirill Nababkin
Akhmat Grozny vs CSKA Moscow predicted XI
Akhmat Grozny predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Giorgi Shelia; Miroslav Bogosavac; Aleksandr Putsko; Andrei Semyonov; Maksim Nenakhov; Artem Timofeev; Ismael Silva Lima; Evgeny Kharin; Vladimir Ilyin; Bernard Berisha; Andrés Ponce.
CSKA Moscow predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Igor Akinfeev; Georgi Shchennikov; Hörður Björgvin Magnússon; Igor Diveev; Mario Fernandes; Ivan Oblyakov; Konstantin Maradishvili; Arnór Sigurðsson; Nikola Vlasic; Konstantin Kuchayev; Fedor Chalov/
Akhmat Grozny vs CSKA Moscow prediction
Both sides have allowed far too many shots fired at their goal to be certain of a victory, regardless of how their attack performs. Akhmat is certainly in better touch, and has played some impressive, free-flowing football in its last few matches. Although CSKA is the much bigger club in stature, it perhaps won't be a huge surprise if the home team wins.
Having said that, the away team has a few genuine match-winners in its ranks like Nikola Vlasic, who can turn the match on its head with a moment of individual brilliance. CSKA Moscow desperately need a win to climb up the table, and the team should perform much better than it has in the past week. If the CSKA Moscow players can be more clinical in front of goal, the club has a good chance of winning this match.
Prediction: Akhmat Grozny 1-1 CSKA Moscow.Published 29 Aug 2020, 13:59 IST