United and City look to consolidate, Real host PSG

Manchester United and Manchester City will be hoping to stake their claims for a place in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League as the group stage enters the business end.

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney during training in foggy conditions at the club's training ground in Carrington, Manchester on Monday.   -  REUTERS

Manchester United host CSKA Moscow in the fourth round of UEFA Champions League fixtures at Old Trafford on Tuesday night hoping to put themselves in favourable position to qualify for the knockout stages.

The Red Devils are level on points with their Russian opponents, two points behind group B leaders Wolfsburg, who visit Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven in the other group game.

United have drawn their last three games 0-0, having failed to find the back of the net since Anthony Martial’s goal against CSKA in the reverse fixture in October.

Antonio Valencia is expected to miss out due to a foot injury and Memphis Depay is also a doubt after being unable to shake off a knock picked up in the League Cup defeat to Middlesborough. Luke Shaw is a long-term absentee.

Midfielder Bibras Natcho and defender Vasiliy Berezutsky will undergo late fitness tests for CSKA in order to make the trip to Manchester.

CSKA coach Leonid Slutsky has agreed to take over as the Russian national team’s coach for the Euro 2016 finals in the summer.

City hoping to build on win

Manchester City travel to Spain to take on Sevilla in a Group D encounter knowing that victory would put them on the brink of qualification to the knock-out stages. The Citizens beat their Spanish opponents in the reverse fixture courtesy of a late Kevin De Bruyne winner and are only one point behind leader Juventus who travel to Germany to take on Borussia Monchengladbach.

City will be without Argentine duo Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta while Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Fabian Delph also miss out. David Silva is on the road to recovery but this game might just come too soon for him.

Sevilla’s French striker Kevin Gameiro looks set to miss the English team’s visit with a bicep injury while midfielder Ever Banega could be fit to make the substitutes’ bench.

CR7 vs Zlatan part deux

Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will go head to head again as runaway Ligue 1 leaders Paris St Germain visit the Santiago Bernabeu to take on Real Madrid. The two teams played out a drab goalless draw in the corresponding fixture in Paris, so both will be looking to improve and take the lead in Group A.

Gareth Bale and Dani Carvajal will miss out through injuries but Real boss Rafael Benitez will be boosted by the return of Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez.

PSG, meanwhile, will be hoping David Luiz can make the trip having sat out the weekend’s win at Rennes. Fellow South Americans Javier Pastore (conjunctivitis) and Marquinhos (thigh) have been ruled out of the clash.

The two teams are locked on seven points at the top of the group, both yet to concede a goal in the tournament. A win will give either team the initiative to take control of the group and finish as group winner.

Tuesday’s fixtures

Group A: Real Madrid vs Paris St Germain, Shakhtar Donetsk vs Malmo FF

Group B: Manchester United vs CSKA Moscow, PSV Eindhoven vs Vfl Wolfsburg

Group C: FC Astana vs Atletico Madrid, Benfica vs Galatasaray

Group D: Borussia Monchengladbach vs Juventus, Sevilla vs Manchester City

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