All four teams in Group B sit level on three points after two rounds making every match increasingly important. Last season was the first time this had been the situation in a Champions League group after two games since 2001/02, when it happened in the second group stage.
Together the four week three group matches from those two similar situations saw just one first-half goal, while Atletico were the only side to score more than once, when they netted four times in the last 30 minutes against Malmo last season on the way to a 5-0 win. A trip to Moscow is unlikely to be as easy as that for this United team.
However, since 2002 English sides have travelled to Moscow eight times in the Champions League and have lost only once while winning five times, with half those games having fewer than two goals. The goals trend there does go against recent CSKA matches though, as they’ve not kept a clean sheet in their last 12 home games in Europe and seven of the nine since 2013/14 have had at least three goals with six having four or more. Domestically they are five points clear at the top of the Russian table, and 10 ahead of rivals Zenit, and in all competitions both teams have scored in their last six home games with four seeing at least four goals.
Man Utd bounced back from the defeat at Arsenal with an impressive win at Everton, where they’d struggled in recent years, and have now scored at least three goals in six of their last 10 matches. They are still not consistent though, with defeats at Swansea and PSV, as well as the loss at Arsenal, in their last five away games. All those matches did see at least five goals and were it not for the tense situation within the group we would definitely be backing Over 2.5 Goals here at evens.
But if there are to be goals there is one man who is in particularly lethal form. Seydou Doumbia scored twice in the 3-2 win in their previous UCL game as well as three goals over their two legged qualification match against Sporting. In his nine starts since arriving on loan from Roma he’s only failed to score twice and has 10 goals in total. At 3.12 he looks a good price to find the target again.
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