Holders Bayern Munich will be keen on sealing top spot in Group D, when they travel to Russia to take on CSKA Moscow in the Champions League fixture on Wednesday night.
The Bavarians are currently top of the pool, three points above Manchester City, with both sides already securing qualification to the last 16. Bayern are yet to lose a game this season, since the defeat to bitter rivals and last year's finalists Borussia Dortmund in the German Super Cup back in July. And Pep Guardiola's men go into this tie on the back of a convincing 3-0 triumph over the same opponent at the weekend.
Bayern will be pretty confident of beating CSKA, having won the reverse fixture at the Allianz Arena 3-0 back in September. However, the weather in Russia at this time of the year could test the Germans and should cause them a few problems.
"We must get used to the weather conditions quickly. It was a long flight, but you can say the same about CSKA when they played us in Munich. We must be fully focused as CSKA are a well-drilled, professional outfit. They have some very good players and are strong at the back and in attack. They are good at moving the ball forward quickly. It won't be easy, but I think we should win," Guardiola stressed.
"We have a number of injury problems and will be without a number of players but I will put out our best available team. I trust my players completely. Every game is different and it is impossible to repeat past performances. It won't be easy. We are already through to the knockout stages and there is a chance we may ease off. However, I don't want my players to do so," the Spaniard added.
CSKA, on the other hand, have no chance of reaching the last 16 now but they can still qualify for the Europa League by finishing third. Leonid Slutski's men are currently three points above rockbottom Viktoria Plzen and will travel to Czech Republic for the potentially decisive last group game next month. CSKA have been in good form of late, winning four successive games in the Russian Premier League.
"Our aim is to give as good an account of ourselves as we can and play to the best of our ability. They will always make chances as they are able to create opportunities against any side in the world. We need to make sure we are better in attack, something that was lacking in the first match between the sides," Slutski pointed out.
"I feel we can do a lot more than we did [against Bayern] on matchday one - I don't think that game will have much of an effect on the result here. Bayern have just won 3-0 in the league against last season's UEFA Champions League runners-up and at present they are the best side in the world," he added.
CSKA: Slutski will be without talisman Alan Dzagoev and midfielder Aleksandrs Cauna, while forward Seydou Doumbia remains a doubt for tonight.
Bayern: Franck Ribery, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Mandzukic, Xherdan Shaqiri and Claudio Pizarro have all been ruled out for this tie. However, summer signing Thiago Alcantara is back from the treatment table and is available.
CSKA: Zoran Tosic had two goals and an assist to his name from CSKA's last three Champions League outings, including a goal against City. The former United winger will be the Bavarians' biggest threat tonight, along with Japan playmaker Keisuke Honda.
Bayern: Young David Alaba has hit the headlines quite a few times this season. The Austrian full-back already has two goals and an assist to his name from four matches in the Champions League and is starting to become a massive threat with his free-kicks.
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 10.30 pm IST start on Wednesday night, with Ten Action and Ten HD providing live coverage in India. You can catch the action live online from UEFA by clicking the link HERE. To live stream the action in North Africa and the Middle East, click HERE. To watch the match in the U.S., via Fox Sports click HERE. To catch all the action via live streaming in the U.K., click HERE.
CSKA: Akinfeev; M Fernandes, Ignashevich, A Berezutski, Schennikov; Elm, Wernbloom; Milanov, Honda, Tosic; Doumbia
Bayern: Neuer; Rafinha, Martinez, Contento, Alaba; Lahm, Thiago, Kroos; Muller, Gotze, Robben
Prediction: 2-0 to Bayern