Basel vs CSKA Moscow by Gustav
It could be said that Basel stabilized their form in domestic Super League, even though the side comes from only a point taken in a goalless draw away from home against Zurich last Saturday evening. They had more of the ball possession, better chances created and generally looked like a dominant side, but the goal never came.
Still, this was fifth consecutive match without defeat for them in Super League as the side continues to be second at the table having now seven points less than leaders from Young Boys - something that they need to think about it and narrow the difference as soon as possible (starting with a game at home against them next weekend). As for the Champions League, they won over CSKA on the road last time out 2:0 and are now in perfect position with six points, in comparison to Russian side that has three and Portuguese Benfica with zero points.
Forward Ricky van Wolfswinkel (9/7) is injured and out, same as veteran goalkeeper Germano Vailati who anyway didn't perform so far. Defender Pedro Pacheco is anyway not fit and didn't play so far as well, with central back Eder Balanta should be back from injury in this one.
CSKA Moscow, on the other side, comes from quite a disappointing defeat away from home against Arsenal Tula last Friday evening with a 1:0 narrow result. They were better in the first halftime and dominated, however the goal didn't came - while deciding point happened in 54th when midfielder Kuchaev got red carded and the visitors had to play with a man less since then.
Their hosts slowly started attacking and reached the goal in 79th minute via Causic, leaving little time to visitors from Moscow to reply back. CSKA is now at third position in the domestic league with already seven points less than Lokomotiv Moscow and four less than second placed Zenit with 7-4-4 record for now. As for this match, the side is close to a must win situation since any other result would bring their opponents much closer to the knockout phase.
Midfielder Pontus Wernbloom missed previous game in Tula, but should be back here in the starting lineup. Offensive Alan Dzagoev (11/1) is back from injury, but the game might come too soon for him - still, he could be getting some playing minutes here.
Basel are having great position now and will continue being favorites to reach the knockout phase even with a draw here. However, since the Russians will need probably to risk more, I see the Swiss side being complete favorites to claim all three points. They are in way better form, have already shown that couple of weeks ago against struggling in attack visitors.