Setting the scene
Both teams suffered defeats during the last Champions League game week, meaning qualification for the next round of the competition is impossible for either side.
However, a spot in the next round of the Europa League is at stake, with Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham only needing a draw at home to the Russian side to clinch ‘relegation’ to the less prestigious competition.
CSKA, one point behind Spurs as things stand, need to pull off a win at Wembley in order to get that valuable third spot that would see them continue their European adventure.
During the last meeting, which took place in September in Moscow, a 71st minute Heung-min Son goal gave Tottenham their only win in the Champions League so far.
One to look out for
Once a sure thing to be fighting for the Russian league, CSKA Moscow’s season hasn’t quite gone to plan so far, eight points off leaders Spartak Moscow, and current manager Leonid Slutsky has taken the decision to step down from his role after the Tottenham game.
With an ageing squad (only four regular players under 25) at Slutsky’s disposal, the fact that 20-year-old Aleksandr Golovin has managed to impose himself as one of the key men is rather impressive.
Capable of playing as a central midfielder, an attacking midfielder or even a winger, the versatile youngster has played in all but one of CSKA’s games this season, and picked up an assist at the weekend in a 4-0 win over Ural Yekaterinburg.
The youngster was also named best young player in the Russian league in 2016 by the Russian Football Union a couple of weeks ago.
Injuries and suspensions
The big one here is Roman Emerenko, who was recently suspended from playing football for two years after testing positive for cocaine during a doping control test after CSKA’s Champions League game against Bayer Leverkusen.
Other than that, the only notable absence remains defensive midfielder Aleksandrs Cauna, who is yet to play for the Russian side following an ankle surgery in the summer, and is expected to return to action for 2017.
Slutsky will want to go out with a bang, and will undoubtedly go for it in a must-win game.
Following Lacina Traoré’s brace at the weekend, the Ivorian should retain his spot in the starting line-up, which has all but once been set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation.
Alan Dzagoev’s return from a hamstring injury will be a boost for Slutsky, but considering the 26-year-old only played 45 minutes at the weekend, a start in such an important game might not be the best move.
Predicted XI: Akinfeev, Mario Fernandes, Berezutski, Berezutski, Schennikov, Golovin, Natcho, Tosic, Wernbloom, Milanov, Traoré.