Manchester United need to get their mojo back when they face CSKA Moscow in their Group B champions league encounter at Old Trafford on Tuesday. Manchester United, who were finding the back of the net without much trouble early in the season, are undergoing a lull period in front of goal as they have only managed to score 1 goal in their last four games in all competition.
Despite players with the calibre of Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial, goals have been hard to come by, though they might have a good share of possession during a match. They have created chances, but have failed to convert.
To be fair, they have been unlucky as was witnessed during their League Cup match against Middlesbrough, who knocked the Red Devils out of the competition via penalties. United lost 3-1 (0-0 in regulation time).
In their last EPL game as well, United failed to score against Crystal Palace. Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal who has used Rooney as the lone striker and Martial on the wings, will ask the duo to deliver the goods against CSKA Moscow and help liven-up the atmosphere at Old Trafford, which has been edgy at times during the season.
"I think the most important thing is that you create chances and that you finish those chances. Against Middlesbrough [in the League Cup last week] we created more than enough," UEFA official website quoted Manchester United manager, Louis van Gaal as saying.
"Against Crystal Palace it was a concern because we didn't create as much, but that was one of the few matches in which we were not the better team."
However, United, who are hungry for goals, should be careful against CSKA Moscow, as the visitors are planning to play a counter attacking style of football, which could catch the United players on the back foot.
With players such as Zoran Tosic, and Roman Eremenko, CSKA Moscow have the ammunition in their bag to exploit United at the back.
Leonid Slutski, CSKA Moscow coach is aware of United's problem front of goal, but with players such as Rooney and Martial in their line up along with creative players such as Juan Mata, they can create havoc in Moscow's defence.
"Manchester United are Manchester United. They remain a club of top quality. This team is obviously very good with possession so we will play a counterattacking game. When a team has players like Juan Mata, Anthony Martial, Wayne Rooney and so on, they can score at any time and against any opponent so their recent blanks don't provide much comfort," said Slutski.
Despite the might of Manchester United, there is no doubt about the quality players for CSKA Moscow, who can cause problems at Old Trafford. Both the teams go ahead into this match with identical record in champions' league with one win, one loss and one draw.
Manchester United, who drew their last encounter against Moscow in October, are desperate for a win at Old Trafford to get back to their winnings ways, if not, their manager, Louis van Gaal, will be under immense pressure as critics have even bashed him for 'boring football, which was a rarity during the days of United legend, Alex Ferguson.
Where to watch live
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Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow is scheduled for a 8:45pm local time (1:15am IST, 8:45pm CET, 2.45pm ET) start. Ten Sports will broadcast the Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow match live in India, while the live streaming is available on Ten Sports Live.
US viewers have the luxury of watching the Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow on Fox Sports 1 USA, while the live stream option is on FoxSoccer2Go.
Viewers in Russia can watch the Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow game live on Belarus 2.