Charlie Nicholas: Why Man United will beat CSKA Moscow
Charlie Nicholas is backing Manchester United to ease past CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford
Charlie Nicholas has backed Manchester United to edge past CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford on Tuesday night.
The Red Devils warmed up for their crunch Champions League group-stage game with a goalless draw with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
The fans will be singing ‘attack, attack, attack’ but they’ll get pass, pass, pass. All Van Gaal is interested in is getting another three points
Louis van Gaal’s side have failed to secure victory in their last four games in all competitions, starting with a 1-1 draw with CSKA in Russia in October.
However, former Arsenal playmaker Nicholas is backing United to return to winning ways with an unconvincing victory over their Champions League opponents.
“United are well odds-on but I ask why? It was probably they’re best performance of the season in the reverse of this fixture and that’s not saying much.
“They played half decent for 25 minutes at Crystal Palace but that was about it. But why are we getting ourselves worked up about Louis van Gaal? We knew he was structured and strict.”
Nicholas continued: “This a tough game for them and, while I think Manchester United will win this, it won’t be one of those glamorous nights. The fans will be singing ‘attack, attack, attack’ but they’ll get pass, pass, pass. All Van Gaal is interested in is getting another three points.”
United started their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 defeat by Eredivise holders PSV Eindhoven in September.
The Red Devils followed up their defeat by PSV with a first win of the campaign against Wolfsburg last month.
Man United v CSKA Moscow: Match facts
• United are still seeking a first home win against Russian opposition, following three draws. They were held at Old Trafford in Uefa Cup first-round defeats by both FC Torpedo Moskva (0-0 in 1992/93) and SC Rotor Volgograd (2-2 in 1995/96).
• Overall they have won only one of eight matches, home and away, against Russian opposition – that 2009 win at CSKA.
• United are unbeaten in their last seven home fixtures in Uefa competition (six wins, one draw). This includes victories over Club Brugge KV (3-1) in August’s play-off round and Wolfsburg (2-1) on matchday two.
• Wayne Rooney is the only survivor of United’s 2-1 defeat by FC Zenit in the 2008 UEFA Super Cup.