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Representing A Continent

Started on 15 November 2019 by TheLFCFan
Latest Reply on 13 August 2020 by OneMoreGame

CSKA Handed Tough Task: Champions League Group F Preview

CSKA Moscow will face defending La Liga Champions Atlético Madrid in Group F

The 2020/2021 Champions League Group stages have been drawn today with Russia being represented by CSKA Moscow and Spartak Moscow. Today we will take a look at Group F, including current Rosgosstrakh Chempionat Rossii leaders CSKA Moscow.

The Group

English Premier League runners up, Manchester City, were first out of the pot, with Atlético Madrid CSKA Moscow and Inter Milan all joining what is being called, ‘The Group of Death’.

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola’s side are one of the more expensively built sides in footballing history, with that not stopping this season. Having missed out on a third Premier League title in a row by just the single point behind Tottenham Hotspur, City bought in Raphaël Varane (£79,000,000) from Real Madrid and Moussa Dembélé (£57,000,000) from Lyon this summer.

Last season's Champions League semi-finalists, who lost to eventual winners Juventus, will be expected to top the group, but may find problems with the left-back position. With Benjamin Mendy suffering a Cruciate Ligament injury in an under 23s game a few days ago, he will miss up to eight months of action and with very little back up, could the rest of the group target that area?

Atlético Madrid

An opening day defeat to Barcelona wasn’t what reigning La Liga champions Atlético Madrid would have had in mind for the start of their title defense. But despite that loss, Madrid showed their quality in the following game, beating Celta Vigo 3-0.

Off the back of Thomas Lemar’s nine goals and twenty-one assists in all competitions last season, along with Álvaro Morata and João Félix chipping in with twenty-one and nineteen goals each, Atlético are a force going forward. Scoring ninety-one goals last season, it helped them to winning the league on goal difference having conceded the tied lowest amount.

That defense is helped by having a goalkeeper many view as one of the worlds best in Jan Oblak, with the Slovenian keeping sixteen clean sheets last season. Madrid will be a tough team to break down and will be deadly going forward, making them favourites to go through alongside Manchester City.

CSKA Moscow

Having taken over a side that had been on a downwards trend since their last Rosgosstrakh Chempionat Rossii in 2015/16, Luke Hendricks guided his team into second place last season. They currently sit atop of the league table this season, with eight wins from eight, giving them a lead over Spartak Moscow of four points.

It’s going to be a big change for CSKA Moscow this season in Europe, having passed through their Europa League group unbeaten last season. This year is going to clearly be much tougher. However, following their great start and of the back of Nikola Vlasic, Arnór Sigurðsson and Ivan Oblyakov brilliant form, some CSKA Moscow fans may have some faith in pulling off some unexpected results.

With very little expectations on them CSKA Moscow will be hoping to avenge their losses to Inter Milan, who defeated them in the Europa League 2nd Knockout Round last year. However, the bookies suggest the Russian side are likely to struggle and will most likely end up bottom of the group this season.

Inter Milan

Antonio Conte is in the midst of building the strongest Inter Milan side since the treble winning season in 2010 under José Mourinho. The signing of Romelu Lukaku to partner Lautaro Martínez up front last season, paid off with the pair both scoring nineteen league goals last campaign. This summer has seen the arrival of Raphaël Guerreiro from Borussia Dortmund as he joins a defense that looks highly impressive on paper.

Feeling around the Inter Milan camp is that this year could be a special one for them, both domestically and in European competition. They will have some tough challenges to face but Lukaku and Martínez both scoring in their sides 2-0 win over Parma, there is reason for the excitement.

Conte’s side are expected to finish third in the group for the second year running, but with a very strong side, it wouldn’t be a complete shock for them to challenge the expected qualifiers in Manchester City and Atlético Madrid.


Scott: It was a brilliant start, one I wasn't expecting to be honest. Keeping a hold of these key players is going to be massive, we can't afford to lose them, especially with the lack of money we currently have.
Ouch. That is an absolutely horrific group. I think the best Luke can be realistically hoping for is pipping Inter to third, but that is still somewhat of a difficult task.
That's a rough group man, gunna be right up against it!

Maksim Smirnov - The run has finally come to an end having gone eight wins in a row Dynamo Moscow stopped us abruptly in our tracks at the end of August. Despite the loss we still top the table just a point ahead of Spartak Moscow. Let's take a look at the month in some more detail.

Vadik Vassily - The month got off to a great start with a very comfortable 2-0 victory over Akhmat. Goals from Arnór Sigurðsson and Ivan Oblyakov giving us the spoils. Ivan deserves a lot of credit so far this year, we mentioned him at the end of the ‘Player of the Month’ last month, but he has been incredible so far this year. He has two goals and five assists to his name in our nine league games so far and is starting to become a real standout in this league.

Sergei Titov - That performance was then followed by another massive result, beating Arsenal Tula 4-1 away from home. Something that is becoming a trademark for the season so far is that of early goals. This game was no different, with three coming inside twenty minutes. Arnór Sigurðsson, grabbing his sixth of the season, Volodymyr Shepelev, who has now matched his tally from last season and Nikola Vlasic, giving us a three goal lead early on. That lead was then looking likely to be extended when Fedor Chalov was brought down in the penalty box, but the striker missed the resulting penalty. It didn’t matter though as Ivan Oblyakov scored in the second game running to make it 4-0. They pulled one back two minutes later but it wasn’t enough and we ran out comfortable victors.

Maksim Smirnov - Back at home, we produced our second 5-0 victory of the season already, beating Krylya Sovetov with ease. Igor Diveev continued his surprise run of scoring with the game's opener. That was followed by Mário Fernandes, Lucas Santos, Nikola Vlasic and Fedor Chalov all scoring to give us the huge win. Lucas’ goal was his first of the season as he looks to re-find his form from last season.

Vadik Vassily - Yes, although despite not scoring as many as last year, he has already provided three assists, two more than he managed last season. Following that big win, we faced Krasnodar with Mário Fernandes putting us ahead, once again with an early goal. Luis Olivera then became the fourth of our defenders to score this season, with the second of the game before Volodymyr Shepelev secured the win. An 89th minute consolation was all Krasnodar could manage as we outclassed them throughout.

Sergei Titov - Having dominated all season, we then were on the receiving end of a outclassing. Dynamo Moscow showed up and completely stole the show with former Manchester United player Bébé opening the scoring before Maximilian Philipp doubled their lead. Outclassed, things were made even harder when Luis Olivera got himself sent off with twenty to play.

Maksim Smirnov - Despite that disappointment, as previously mentioned we still sit top of the table, almost a third of the way through. We also have some quite outstanding stats. The best average possession in the league with 63%. The most goals scored with 27 in nine games, second have eight less with 19. We also have conceded the second least amount of goals with just six in our first nine games. It has been a great start to the season.

Vadik Vassily - It certainly has been a good start, it’s just a shame Spartak don’t seem to be dropping many points. They sit just behind us in the table and our game against them at the start of October is looking very important already.

Maksim Smirnov - It is indeed. Let’s move on to this months ‘Player of the Month’, who deserves it this month guys?

Sergei Titov - Mário Fernandes. He, as always has been incredible this month, two goals and two assists and helping us to a pair of clean sheets. Even at the age of 29, he seems to still be improving and as such, a lot of teams are showing reported interest. Leicester and Tottenham Hotspur, the Premier League Champions, are being linked with a move from England, whilst Spanish side Valencia are also rumoured to want the right-back.

Vadik Vassily - Luke Hendricks has repeatedly stated since the initial interest in Mário was shown last year, that under no circumstances would he leave, something that he backed up after the Krasnodar match.

Luke Hendricks :
“Why would I want to lose Mário? In my opinion he is one of the best right-backs in world football, so why would I want to lose him? I don’t see him leaving, he loves the club and he’s been here for a number of years now. I have a great relationship with him and I just don’t see anything happening that would see Mário go.”

Maksim Smirnov - We will need Mário Fernandes to be on top form next month, as we have a tough few games coming up. We start with an away trip to Sochi, who are currently second last in the table, before we welcome Manchester City in our first Champions League game of the season. It’s then two short trips to Chertanovo Moscow in the Kubok Rossii 5th round as well as a game against Lokomotiv Moscow back in the league. To end the month we have our second Champions League game of the season, this time travelling to Italy to play Inter Milan.

Thoughts on the month ahead?

Vadik Vassily - Well, clearly the two big games of the month are the Champions League games, home against Manchester City and away to Inter Milan. They will be two very tough matches and one’s we aren’t expected to do much in. I do wonder if Luke will rotate against Sochi before the City game, but I expect us to win all of the domestic games this month.

Sergei Titov - I think it’d be a mistake to rotate against Sochi, the league should be the priority and any sort of success in Europe should be seen as a massive bonus. We shouldn’t expect much in Europe in what is a brutal group, but I agree with Vadik that we should be winning the three domestic games.

Maksim Smirnov - The European games will be a great test and one we look forward to. Thank you to the pair of you and thank you everyone for watching. See you soon.

*Taken from the CSKA Armiya Youtube Channel 31st August 2020*


Scott:Certainly going to be a tough one and I agree the best we could do is sneaking 3rd but even that'll be a tough one.
Aaron:It wasn't quite what we were hoping for!
Tough games up ahead in both the Champions League and the league. I suspect there will be plenty of rotation in the cup game to cope with the demand of the other fixtures. It's been a very promising start thus far however.

Maksim Smirnov - It was always going to be a tough month, and it certainly was one as we lost three of our five games. Losses to Manchester City and Inter Milan in the Champions League whilst two late goals cost us a win against Lokomotiv Moscow. However, a 5-0 win sees us comfortably through to the Kubok Rossii 6th round.

Sergei Titov - It has been a tough month, but it got off to a good start as we got back to winning ways having ended August with a loss against Dynamo Moscow. A Fedor Chalov goal just before the hour mark gave us the three points, and despite Sochi having just nine players by the 87th minute that was all we could manage as Chalov missed his second penalty of the season. The game ended on a negative note with Lucas Santos leaving the game early with sprained knee ligaments. He is expected to be out of action for six weeks.

Vadik Vassily - The loss of Lucas was felt in our opening game of the Champions League against Manchester City, as we succumbed to a 2-0 loss against the English side. We saw something we haven’t seen from Luke before, as the South African went on the defensive with a flat back five hoping to keep City goalless. However, with Nikola Vlasic getting injured early on, City took the advantage with Bernado Silva and Aymeric Laporte giving them the win.

Maksim Smirnov - Despite the loss, we reacted immediately with a 5-0 demolition of Chertanovo Moscow in the Kubok Rossii. Our rotated side had no issues with Alan Dzagoev, scoring two, Arnór Sigurðsson, Magomed-Shapi Suleimanov and Timur Zhamaletdinov giving us our passage into the next round. The draw sees us play Nizhniy Novgorod in the next round, a team we secured a tight 2-1 victory over earlier in the season.

Sergei Titov - Losing Nikola Vlasic and Lucas Santos was evident with a lack of creativity in our game against Lokomotiv Moscow, one of the best defensive teams in the league. We did manage to go ahead in the game through a Michael Esser own-goal. But something we saw a number of times last season, a late collapse. Nikolay Komlichenko and Grzegorz Krychowiak goals stole the three points from our grasp.

Vadik Vassily - Back to the Champions League, we faced Inter Milan, the team many think we will have to pip in order to get third in the group. Once again, Luke went with the five at the back formation, but once again it faltered. It took until the 74th minute but Lautaro Martínez gave the Italian side the lead before Romelu Lukaku doubled it. Fedor Chalov then got one back but having gone all out for the draw, Milan Skriniar’s headed goal sealed Inter the three points.

Maksim Smirnov - So this month's results sees us slip down to second place, two points behind Spartak Moscow, whilst in the Champions League we are bottom, one point behind Atlético Madrid who currently hold the Europa League spot. Despite the tough month, who would you guys say is this month's Player of the Month?

Vadik Vassily - It’s a tough one, nobody has really stood out, especially not consistently, but for me probably Magomed-Shapi Suleimanov. He has been good since coming in and got his goal in the game against Chertanovo. He still has a long way to go to be at the level he needs to be at to be a standout, but he is certainly an exciting prospect.

Sergei Titov - Yeah, he has been good so far and probably deserves the award this month, albeit in a very poor month. He is quick and seems to be a decent finisher, I am also excited about what he could achieve here and so far think he is a good signing so far.

Maksim Smirnov - Next month is a packed one as we move towards the winter break, as we have six games in October. We start the month off with Spartak Moscow, a massive fixture as we could either go back to the top of the league, or fall five points behind. Then we have Zenit St. Petersburg, a game that has seen a number of controversies in recent times. Those two games are followed by Atlético de Madrid, Ural, Nizhniy Novgorod and Tambov to end of the month. What do we think the month sees?

Sergei Titov - It’s another very tough one coming up, but I think the aim has to be the league at this point. Champions League was always going to be tough and if we can get a result against Madrid, that would be great, but the main focus for this month has to be Spartak Moscow and Zenit. I would like ten points this month, with a draw against Zenit being the only dropped points. Nothing is expected away to Madrid in all honesty but a win against Novgorod will certainly be required.

Vadik Vassily - I agree with Sergei, let's focus on the league now. The Champions League is a great competition to be involved in but with this group, getting anything from it was near on impossible. Wins against Spartak and Zenit are needed but like Sergei said, a draw would be acceptable against Zenit away.

Maksim Smirnov - One last piece of news this month is that Igor Akinfeev has started his first coaching badge. It is expected to take four months but is a good sign that another club legend will be sticking around once his playing days are over.

That is all for this month, thank you for watching.

*Taken from CSKA Armiya Youtube Channel 29th September 2020*


Scott:A very tough month indeed, not much to smile about but the rotated side did it's job in the cup. Next month is going to be a tough one again, hopefully we can get some better reults!
Two absolutely massive fixtures approaching. Luke can't be too hard on himself and the team given the opposition in the month just gone-by.
Easy few games to start the month.

Victory Sends CSKA Top

CSKA Moscow players celebrate their third goal in victory.

Goals from Ilzat Akhmetov, Luis Olivera and Fedor Chalov ensured CSKA Moscow ran out as 3-1 victors over Spartak Moscow, to send Luke Hendricks' side to the summit of the table.

In a top of the table clash, much was expected in the first derby of the season between CSKA Moscow and reigning champions Spartak Moscow. Despite both sides missing some key players, Pedro Rocha and Ilja Kutepov for Spartak and Chancel Mbemba, Nikola Vlasic and Lucas Santos for CSKA, it was a spectacle that we all expected.

It took just ten minutes for the first goal of the game, with Ilzat Akhmetov striking from twenty yards out. Starting in the central attacking midfield, a spot normally filled by the injured Nikola Vlasic, Akhmetov has been a player who has shone under Luke Hendricks, with calls still coming for the twenty-two year old to be in the Russian national team. Having been left out of Stanislav Cherchesov’s national squad once again, his goal early into the game will be a reminder of his quality.

Akhmetov’s goal was quickly cancelled out though, as Brazilian international Fernando struck a freekick from the edge of the area. The goal came just two minutes after Spartak thought they had fairly equalised. An André Schürrle shot was parried onto the bar by Igor Akinfeev falling perfectly for Zelimkhan Bakaev to tap in. However, the goal was ruled out for offside, keeping CSKA ahead before Fernando’s freekick.

With five minutes before half-time, Luis Olivera put CSKA Moscow back ahead, with a well struck effort. Ivan Oblyakov picked the ball up on the halfway line and drove forward at the Spartak defense. The CSKA Moscow Fan’s ‘Young Player of the Year’ then found Olivera in space, with the Argentinian left-back’s powerful strike finding the goal.

The second half saw a number of chances for both sides, with both keepers being forced into a number of saves, Igor Akinfeev ensuring his side stayed ahead with four in the second half alone. His efforts at the back were rewarded as Fedor Chalov sealed the victory with a 93rd minute goal, taking his tally to five this season.

The victory takes CSKA Moscow back to first in the league, a position they had held from early in the season until their 2-0 loss to Dynamo Moscow. But having inflicted Spartak Moscow’s first loss of the season, CSKA regained the lead on the rest of the league by a point.

Clearly delighted with his side's performance, Luke Hendricks had this to say following the match.

“It’s a great result and one we were full value for in my opinion. We controlled the game nicely and kept the ball well, of course they had some chances and had Igor not been incredible maybe we wouldn’t have come out with the win. But he was and we took our chances against a side who had only conceded two goals this season before today. I am incredibly pleased with this performance.”

Despite clearly being pleased with his side, Hendricks made it clear that focus will now be placed on Zenit.

“Whilst this was a great performance, we still have mistakes that we need to fix ahead of our next match. They are a good side who have spent a lot of money and have a lot of talent in their ranks. We will need to be on top of our game once again to come out of that game with the result we would like.”

Whilst not mentioning them by name, Luke Hendricks did highlight the large amount of spending that Zenit made in the summer. Bringing in the likes of Sime Vrsaljko, Dmitry Barinov, Olivier Giroud and Pablo Sarabia, this new look Zenit side are currently 5th in the league. They do however, have two games in hand on CSKA Moscow, who are currently eight ahead of their rivals. Zenits first of those games in hand coming against Ural tomorrow having been beaten in the Europa League on Thursday by Celtic.

This fixture last season was marred in controversy with Zenit ultimately being fined for racist abuse of CSKA manager Luke Hendricks. The club and former South African star have a long history together, with Hendricks a former player at Zenit. However, having suffered a career threatening injury in the 2010 World Cup, Luke and Zenit owner Boyra Uys had a well publicised falling out.

Hopes that this game won’t have a negative focus are high, with the focus being primarily on the game itself.


Scott:It was a tough month, but we certainly bounced back early this month!
Justice: Clearly ;)
Big Igor to the rescue! 10 out of 10 now in the league is incredible, and hopefully you can keep oil rich Zenit at bay for the rest of the season. Putin would be proud :)
Go and smash Zenit now. Ultimate retribution!
Clearly you’re never going to be a successful artist - you can’t draw!

Running Away

3rd June 1982

I hadn’t long been a member of the South African police force, but it was a position I was proud to hold even in my junior role. A proud Afrikaaner man, who’s family was proudly represented in the Apartheid government by my father who held a ministerial role. I wasn’t the only member of the family to be in the police force either, with my Uncle being the Police Chief of my department.

It was my uncle I was sat next to as we entered the District Six area. I had been on a few of these removals, where we would arrest and move the non-whites still living in the area. They were breaking the law put in place and it was our job to deal with them. It was just a shame some couldn’t accept that. It was a chilly winter’s morning and being up at this time wasn’t my idea of fun.

Having arrived we were directed to the houses, if you could even call them that, we would be entering. I along with two other officers were sent to door number 34.

“On my siren” shouted my Uncle.

“Wahhhhhh” the siren wailed.

Kicking the door in I went straight for the room to my right, as my other two officers barged into the room on the left. Laying there, somehow still asleep despite all the commotion was a young kid, no older than 16. Smacking the back of his bare legs, the boy startled.

“Get the fuck up” I shouted, “Let’s go, let’s go!” I continued shining my bright torch into his still half closed eyes.

He wasn’t moving, not quick enough for my liking anyway. Grabbing the young boy by the collar of his shirt I threw him out of bed and the satisfying noise of him hitting the ground, made the early start all worth it. Once again I grabbed the kids shirt, and for the first time saw the damage I had done, clearly breaking his nose. As his nose bled I ensured the handcuffs were tightly around his wrists, just enough to not be cutting off the blood flow, but enough to be hurting him, before marching him out of his ‘house’.

“Jacob” a woman's voice shrieked as we got out of the house, before the boy I had nearly knocked out turned his head in the voices direction.

“I love you” screamed out the woman's voice again, with it becoming clear the voice was the young boy's mother.

“How cute, how very cute.” I scoffed, before throwing the boy, I now knew was named Jacob, into the back of the yellow van. I was going to lock it up and go back to work, but something clicked, something made me want to inflict some more pain on that kid. I hadn’t felt as happy in a long time as I did when I saw the blood trickling down his face.

Continuing to mock him, I swung a heavy fist into his stomach, doubling him over, clearly taking the wind out of him. The scream he let out only made me want to hurt him more. Something sadistic had clicked within me. For years my parents had been telling me how bad non-whites were and how much pain and trouble they cause. This was my revenge.

I let out all of my frustration landing punch after punch after punch, until he passed out. Only then did I realize what I had done.

I needed to find my uncle and quick. It didn’t take long before I was in front of him trying to explain what I had happened, before eventually pulling him to the yellow police van I had left the teenager in.

“Boyra, you need to get out of here, now! You need to get out of the country, your dad has connections in Europe. You need to get out of here, I will sort this shit out, I have power in the force but I don’t think I can sort this out if anyone finds out. Go home, call your father and he will get you to Europe please boy, do it now.” my Uncle exclaimed.

And that is why I, Boyra Uys, was sent to Russia.


Eoin:Zenit will be a big test, hopefully we can keep the momentum going.
Scott:Lets hope so!
Justice:Much better than last year in turning draws into wins. Hopefully that can be the diference this year!
A gripping update. Boyra really has alot of inner demons to have treated a child, let alone anyone, the way he did with little remorse.
:O I didn't expect that!

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