Photo: Denis Tyrin, PFC CSKA
On Sunday, the White-Blues will face CSKA in the final match of the season. In this preview we tell you about standings, CSKA performance under the new head coach and head-to-head statistics.
CSKA played confidently during the first part of the championship and even took the lead at the end of the first half. They slowed down by the end of the year and let Zenit go ahead. After the restart of the championship, CSKA lost three out of four matches, and the club management decided to part ways with the head coach Viktor Goncharenko.
CSKA bosses replaced him with Ivica Olić who had won the Russian championship three times as a player. Before this appointment Olić didn’t have any head coaching experience. Previously, he has been assisting Zlatko Dalić in the Croatian national team for three years.
Olić didn’t change CSKA traditional 4-2-3-1 formation and didn’t make drastic changes to the squad, which made a winning three-match run on an emotional uplift. Then a disappointing four-game winless streak came, including defeats in the derby against Spartak and Russian Cup semifinal against Lokomotiv.
Hördur Magnússon’s serious injury added to the problems of the team. Olić used different options in the centre-back line, until he settled on Viktor Vasin — Igor Diveyev pair. However this choice didn’t let the team keep the clean sheet in the last four fixtures.
CSKA are close to not getting a European Cup spot for the first time in 20 years. They have to win the match on Sunday and hope for Rubin or Sochi to lose to avoid this disappointing result. Dynamo need a big victory to outrun CSKA and finish sixth.
The top scorer and best assistant of CSKA Nikola Vlašić is not a sure option for Sunday despite the fact that he has already trained with the team. The Croatian international missed the last fixture against Krasnodar due to injury.
Nikola Vlašić and Dmitry Skopintsev
Konstantin Kuchayev took his position in the previous match and was substituted at the beginning of the second half. After that the Army team managed to crush the opponent to get a 3:1 win. Olić started using two forwards and this change immediately brought the result – three minutes after coming out as a substitute, Salomon Rondon made an assist to Fyodor Chalov.
CSKA loaned the Venezuelan striker to replace the Argentinian Adolfo Gaich who failed to make a good impression in the first part of the season. Rondon immediately fit in the CSKA attacking scheme. The Venezuelan scored four goals and made two assists in ten league matches.
Another winter signing – a young Norwegian Emil Bohinen – mainly comes out as a substitute. In central midfield Olić has more confidence in Ivan Oblyakov and Konstantin Maradishvili who is sixth in the league in successfull tackles.
CSKA lead in the Premier League in goals scored with long-range shots – 9. However in the first round fixture, Nicola Moro scored with a long-distance strike getting his first goal in Dynamo Moscow jersey. The Army team won 3:1 and reduced the gap in head-to-head meetings in Russian history: 19 wins, 19 draws and 21 losses.
All tickets for Sunday's derby were sold out four days before the match. You can watch this game on Match Strana TV channel. The kick-off is at 14:00 (Moscow time).