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Representing A Continent

Started on 15 November 2019 by TheLFCFan
Latest Reply on 13 August 2020 by OneMoreGame
Really interested to see who is brought in to strengthen the squad

Maksim Smirnov - Pre-season 2019 is over and now we look towards our opening fixture of the 2019/20 season, Welcome to CSKA Armyia. Today we will review our pre-season results, take a look at our new additions and how we believe we will fair this coming season as we look forward to our opening match against Ural.

All in all, a fairly positive pre-season guys?

Vadik Vassily - That is probably a fair evaluation, yes. Four wins, a draw and a loss, it certainly isn’t the end of the world, especially when you see how many players we had unavailable to us. We only had six first teamers for the first two games before the rest began trickling back from holidays and international duties.

Sergei Titov - That LASK lose was harsh as well. As Vadik said, we had very few first teamers in just our second game under Luke and the new system, and we completely collapsed when the youngsters came on. That needs to be worked on as a club to ensure when these kids come into the first team, they don’t throw away leads.

Maksim Smirnov - We kicked off our pre-season games against Futbolyj Klub SKA-Khabarovsk who we have already covered in depth in a previous episode. We then went on to face Austrian club LASK Linz. LASK who will be playing in the Champions League playoffs, having finished 2nd in the league last season, was Luke's first real challenge at the club. How do we think he got on?

Sergei Titov - It is a tough one. As I said we didn’t have the depth we will have throughout the year and when we had the more natural starting eleven out we dominated. It was a disappointment to not be more clinical in front of goal which was costly as we gave the game away at the end. But we can’t read too much into that one in my opinion as we won’t see many of those in the first team this season.

Maksim Smirnov - Following that we had a game against a semi-pro outfit in the shape of Fussballclub Mauerwerk. A much expected win.

Vadik Vassily - It was, but we had that clinical edge we lacked against LASK despote Fedor Chalov missing that penalty. We showed the finishing was there once more in the final game of the Austria tour, beating Sportverein Leobendorf 5-0. Scoring five twice in two games is impressive, no matter the opponent and I think that is pleasing to see.

Maksim Smirnov - We then hit a stumbling block against another Champions League qualifying team in Astana. A 3-3 draw was probably a poor result by our standards. We shouldn’t have conceded a couple of those goals and I am sure that is something the coaching staff would have relayed back to the team. To finish us off we won 4-0 against third division side Metallist Korolev, another comfortable but expected result.

Coming away slightly from the results, who impressed you the most throughout pre-season?

Vadik Vassily - My standout has to be Arnór Sigurðsson, the Icelandic winger who looks set for a massive year. He scored three and assisted twice in his four halves of football. He looked fresh and fit and is looking likely to make that left flank his own this season. He has embraced Lukes system and cuts in on that right foot excellently, causing issues for the opposition defense, every time he gets the ball.

Sergei Titov - You go left, I’ll go right. Lucas Santos, who we saw as a more left sided midfielder, has been excellent on the right flank in the games he played. He seems a natural finisher and scored five in the six halves he played. We identified the right wing as a position Luke might need to sign someone, but I wonder if Lucas has done enough to make the spot his own.

Maksim Smirnov - Both were great in the friendlies but for me there is no ways it can’t be Ivan Oblyakov. The central midfielder was superb. He showed some real class out there creating opportunities throughout and his game IQ is second to none. Let's also not forget to mention Lassana N'Diaye. The Malian striker was used as Chalov’s main replacement in the pre-season and he scored twice and got himself an assist. He was a real gem and someone I think may be a dark horse performer this season off the bench.

Sergei Titov - Someone else that impressed me in the limited time we saw him, was new signing Luis Olivera. He only played twice but he looked composed on the ball and tracked back to do his defensive duties. At just 20 years old, he fills the position at left back that is much needed with Georgy Schennikov out injured. I think we have got a bargain with him coming in on a free.

Maksim Smirnov - Olivera impressed for sure but he isn’t our only signing, with Volodymyr Shepelev and Chancel Mbemba also joining the club. Thoughts on the new arrivals Vadik?

Vadik Vassily - I think we have to be happy with the business we have done, all three strengthen us and we haven’t had to break the bank to get anyone in. Shepelev was the most expensive at £6,000,000 from Dynamo Kyiv. But at 22 he is young and will be a great player for us for many years to come.

Sergei Titov - I like the Mbemba deal as well. He has played at a high level for a number of years now, with Newcastle and Porto. However, he does have a history of injury issues, so I really hope he has got past those. We won’t see him for a couple of weeks yet as he is still on holiday but I am sure he will be an important player at the back for us this year, as long as he stays fit.

Maksim Smirnov - Right, let's finish off with our predictions for the season. Where will we finish?

Vadik Vassily - I think a third placed finish will be a good season. Zenit look strong once again and I think it will be competitive for the rest of the top four between ourselves Krasnodar, FC Lokomotiv Moscow and Spartak Moscow.

Sergei Titov - Agreed. This will be a tough season to crack into the top two, let alone win it all, especially with it being Luke's first season in charge. I do think we will get that third place though to get into the Champions League playoff.

Maksim Smirnov - Well, I feel optimistic, 2nd for me. I think it is Zenit’s to lose once again, unfortunately but I like our odds of getting that second place and putting some pressure on them. I know Luke will be keen to take the title off them at the first attempt so who knows, a good start could give us a real push.

But that is all we have time for today, thank you for watching and we will see you next time at CSKA Armiya.

*Taken from CSKA Armiya Youtube Channel posted 8th July 2019*


Scott: Thank you Scott, was wanting to give it a try after having the idea so glad to see it is being enjoyed. Three names added, which means Luke is going to have to be creative with how he uses his squad.
Griffo: Well there you go ;)
Decent signings brought in during a relatively mixed-bag of results during pre-season. Shepelev is a fantastic signing and I feel like a fully-fit Mbemba will be a useful option to have. Interestingly, all three signings made are foreign, irrespective of the foreign player ruling. I hope Luke hasn't oversighted this! ;)
Gutting to see Trincao rejecting you, knowing how important and essential he would've been for a club in this league. Nice to see the defence performing well in preseason, too with exceptions made to Linz and Astana.
Good solid signings, lets see what you can do it the games that matter!

Maksim Smirvov - It is a CSKA Armiya special for you all today, as our very own Vadik Vassily has previewed the CSKA Moscow 2019/2020 squad. Let's take a look.


Igor Akinfeev

What needs to be said about this man? He’s a legend of the club, been here since a kid and has been the number one for 15 years now. Once again he will start the season as our captain and our number one. At 33, he still has a few years as a top class goalkeeper and we are very fortunate to have him, Luke will rely heavily on his leadership.

Ilja Pomazun

Igor’s number two will once again be Ilja Pomazun. Having made a couple of appearances in 2017/18, Ilja is still just 22 and will be a competent backup to the skipper for cup games against lesser sides. However, if we do lose Akinfeev for a number of games for whatever reason, we may struggle in the league with him in the goal.


Kirill Nababkin

Another long term member of the squad, Kirill joined us in the 2010 season and played alongside Luke in a number of title wins. Now 32, his versatility will be of utmost importance in the defense for us this year. Unlikely to start many games with a fully fit side, but he will provide a good cover option and provide vital depth.

Mário Fernandes

One of, if not, the key man in this CSKA Moscow side. Mário was signed from Grêmio in 2012/13 for £8,500,000. Since then, he has failed to play in 25+ games a season, just once. Since becoming eligible to play for the Russian national side in 2017, he has played 20 games for the country and has been a phenomenal player for both the nation and club. Once again he will be a very important player for us from that right back position, assuming we can keep a hold of him in the last few weeks of the window.

Zvonimir Sarlija

One of our two loanees to start the season, Zvonimir Sarlija I assume, will see very little football this season. The 22 year old, was bought in for this season at the end of the last, before Luke was in charge and with the arrival of Mbemba, I can’t see the Croatian playing unless we have an injury disaster.

Victor Vasin

Physically, one of the more imposing members of our squad, Victor Vasin stands at 6”4 and will provide some experience from the back. Most likely the man who will partner Mbemba, Vasin will be looking to add to his 42 league games for the club, having joined back in 2011. Victor had a strong pre-season and having been out of the squad last season, playing just six games due to injury, the 30 year old will be looking to make an impact.

Igor Diveev

A highly exciting youngster, Igor Diveev was signed following his loan last year, when he played a number of games for Lukes under 21 side. The 19 year old was impressive in the five games he played in pre-season,however, he will be missing the opening of the season with a groin strain and isn’t expected to be back in the side for four more weeks.

Chancel Mbemba

One of new manager, Luke Hendricks first big signings, Chancel Mbemba, joins from Porto to bolster our defense. Having lacked quality in the area, Mbemba brings with him just that. Having played for a number of clubs in Europe, most notably Anderlecht, Newcastle and Porto, at just 24, Mbemba brings tons of experience. Along with his numerous league appearances across his club career, the defender has 50 national team caps for Congo and with injuries hopefully behind him, Mbemba will be a hard man to pass this season.

Hörður Björgvin Magnússon

Formerly of Juventus, Hörður Björgvin Magnússon, had a somewhat impressive debut season for the club last season. Despite this, Hendricks has bought in another defender to rival the Icelandic international. With Mbemba unavailable until the start of August, it could be Magnússon’s chance to prove he deserves his spot in the side. How he reacts, will be seen with time.

Luis Olivera

Impressing in pre-season, Luis Olivera will be looking to make the most of his chances in the side with Georgy Schennikov still out injured. The Argentine left back was released from River Plate and with a successful trial, signed on a free to provide cover, in a much needed area. He’s a wingback who will look to get forward, and if we can use him effectively, he could be a key man going forward.

Georgy Schennikov

Suffering from a broken ankle, don’t expect to see Georgy until potentially after the winter break. Another youth graduate, Georgy would normally come in as the sides number one left back and his talents will surely be missed to start the season off.


Kristijan Bistrovic

Moving into the midfield, Kristijan Bistrovic is a Croatian under 21 international who was signed in the 2017/18 season. Another player to have played under Luke’s reign last season, the Defensive Midfielder impressed in a majority of his games. Having lost a number of players through injury, he was forced to step in and he did well in his twenty games. With the arrival of Volodymyr Shepelev, and the return of a number of differing options, he may see less game time this season, but nonetheless will be a good rotation option.

Alan Dzagoev

It’s almost certain we won’t see one of our longest serving players this season. Alan Dzagoev ruptured his cruciate ligaments just seven games into last season, and with the injury still not recovered, we are being told to expect the Russian international to be out for up to eight more months. Despite not being able to make an impact on the field, he will be a massive presence in the changing room for his good friend and new boss Luke Hendricks.

Ilzat Akhmetov

One of the most versatile players in the squad, Ilzat can play anywhere in midfield and if needed could do a shift as striker. At just 21, he is an incredibly talented player who adds something different to our midfield options. He can bring the ball up the field from the center with his incredible dribbling skills, before creating chances with his passing ability.

Astemir Gordyushenko

Having gone out on loan last season and failing to impress, Astemir Gordyushenko is someone I don’t expect to be at the club for much longer. With interest in him being reported from a number of lower tier clubs, don’t be surprised if he is moved on before the window closes.

Jaka Bijol

Another young face in the midfield, Jaka Bijol scored four goals from deep in the midfield last year and his impressive performances, earned him a Slovenian national team cap. Having played for the countries under 21s in the Under 21 European Championships this summer, Jaka will be looking to build on his impressive debut season.

Volodymyr Shepelev

Our big signing this summer, with the club spending £6,000,000 on the 22 year old midfielder. Having spent the majority of his career at Dynamo Kyiv, Volodymyr Shepelev will bring an impressive set of attributes to the midfield. His work rate is top notch and he has the ability to pick out a pass with ease. Still young, he is someone to be excited about, to see grow and develop into a key player for this team.

Ivan Oblyakov

One of the most exciting players we have at our club at the moment. Ivan Oblyakov was signed last season for £3,500,000 and played in 23 games, scoring three goals in his first season. Still aged 21, he has played 19 games for the Russian national side and assuming he continues to impress this year, he could be looking at making the Russian side for the European Championships next summer. Another player who will work hard every game, he is someone we look forward to seeing this season.

Konstantin Kuchaev

Konstantin Kuchaev was one of Luke Hendricks key men last season in his youth league victory. He is a very versatile player and someone with a lot of flair, he is someone who is fun to watch but will need to work hard to realize his full potential. Expect to see him play a limited amount of games this season and potentially go out on loan.

Nikola Vlasic

Like Fernandes, Nikola Vlasic will be a key player in this side, once he is back from his extended leave. Vlasic is likely to star as the teams attacking midfielder this season as he did last year following his then loan move from Everton which has now been made permanent. At 21, the Croatian is able to develop even further and if we can keep a hold of him, he could be someone to guide us to success.

Arnór Sigurðsson

One of the most impressive players throughout our pre-season games, Arnór Sigurðsson is yet another young player who could turn into a world class player. Having impressed throughout the friendly games, he has all but guaranteed his starting berth on the left flank, a role his current manager once played for the club. The right footer, like Luke, will look to cut inside as much as possible so expect to see a lot of attempts on goal from his side of the pitch.

Lucas Santos

Lucas Santos is a player on loan from Brazillian side Vasco da Gama who is able to play on both wings as well as upfront. Like Sigurðsson, Santos is a player who impressed to the highest standard in pre-season, scoring five goals in six games. He worked well on the right wing and has seemingly put any thoughts of signing a right-winger to bed.


Lassana N'Diaye

Two goals in six sub appearances, Lassana N'Diaye looks likely to be our backup striker this season. Having played under Luke with the under 21s, N'Diaye has clear talent and undeniable potential. The Malian is the youngest player in the squad and will be looking to force himself into the starting lineup in the coming years.

Takuma Nishimura

Having signed last season and failing to impress, Takuma Nishimura is more than likely to be on the outside of the squad this year, with some reports stating he is up for sale. Don’t expect to see him playing much this year.

Fedor Chalov

A player that Russia will look to pin their hopes on for the national team for a number of years, Fedor Chalov is an extremely talented striker. With two caps for the national team, he scored 15 goals in 30 games last season and has been impressive for a number of years having made his debut in what turned out to be Lukes final season as a professional. Chalov is constantly being linked with a move away, so it is going to take a lot to keep a hold of him.


Scott:Luke would never do such a thing! ;)
Jack:Pre-season was tough due to having so many of our main players missing, which is a shame.
Griffo:Lets see how they go!
There are some real talents in this squad, but there are certainly question marks over whether this squad can compete with Zenit, who haven't messed about with their recruitment.

Fernandes, Vlasic and Chalov are three very exciting players to keep an eye on.

Season Preview Part 2

Maksim Smirnov - So there is the squad in some detail, from Vadik, Sergei what do you think? Do you agree with what Vadik has said and what do you think of the squad on a whole?

Sergei Titov - The squad is a strong one in my opinion, last year we struggled with the sheer number of new arrivals but they have all had a year to gel now. It is a young team still and we will rely on the likes of Akinfeev and Dzagoev through some of the tougher periods of the year. But I think it is a squad we can be excited about.

Vadik Vassily - That is one of the things I was slightly surprised about, I didn’t realize just how young this team is. We have 17 players aged 22 and younger in the squad of 25, which is 68% of the team. The average age is 23, compared to the league average of 27 and that could be both a blessing or a curse.

Maksim Smirnov - I think it will be a positive for us, a young squad with tons of energy and a great work ethic as you highlighted. That will be key as we have seen with Luke’s under 21 side, he likes to play a high pressing, hard working side. At times the more experienced players will be needed to ensure that the concentration levels don’t drop off, but I think we can be happy with this current group.

Sergei Titov - They will also have time to grow together. Majority of these players will have a good decade together if they don’t leave, and if half reach their potential they will be some very important players.

Maksim Smirov - So we are happy with the team. I assume that means we are happy with the transfers Luke has made this season?

Vadik Vassily - Yes. I am certainly happy with them, I think he has strengthened some key areas that we lacked in, such as a left back, we couldn’t ask for much more. Lucas Santos looked excellent in pre-season and therefore the need for a right winger was dropped and rightly so.

Sergei Titov - He may have been good, and he was. But without getting a winger in, we lack real depth there. If Lucas gets injured or falls out of form, who do we replace a vital part of the system with. I would of liked that depth to be added but apart from that I am pleased with our deals.

Maksim Smirnov - Best deal of the window?

Vadik Vassily - Has to be Nikola Vlasic in terms of quality but value for money probably Chancel Mbemba. £1,000,000 for a top class defender and someone we can build our defense around for years to come. The one worry with him is his injury history, with a couple of Torn Knee ligaments in his past, we need to monitor him.

Sergei Titov - I’m excited about Volodymyr Shepelev I think he is going to add talent to the squad and bring some quality to a youthful midfield. Also don’t underestimate the Luis Olivera deal. He is stacked with potential and will fill out the left back position well whilst Georgy Schennikov is out injured.

Maksim Smirnov - With the squad set, lets look ahead to tomorrow’s matchup against Ural as we kick off our 2019/20 season.

Ural are expected to finish 11th this season with odds of 150-1 whilst we are predicted to enter a tight title race with odds of 7-1. Managed by Dmytro Parfyonov, Ural will focus most of their play through attacking midfielder Eric Bicfalvi. The Romanian scored six goals and had the single assist to his name last season and he will be looking to improve on those numbers starting with his game against us. What do we need to do to win this game then?

Sergei Titov - I think this is a good game to get us underway, playing a side that aren’t expected to do much this season and we should win as long as we play our game. I am interested to see how we lineup tomorrow as we have used a defensive midfielder a lot in the warmups, something Luke wasn’t expected to do this season.

Vadik Vassily - I think we will use that defensive midfielder again as we are still without Vlasic who is only back from his leave after tomorrow's match. I expect us to pull of the victory with very little problems.

Maksim Smirnov - Finally, score predictions?

Sergei Titov - 2-0 to us.

Vadik Vassily - I think it’ll end 3-1 to us.

Maksim Smirnov - I will go a little tighter and say 2-1 to us. To end of our season preview, where do we expect to finish the league this season?

Vadik Vassily - I think we have every right to be excited this season and expect us to be challenging for the title to the very end. I think toppling Zenit is a step to far this year but 2nd isn’t out of reach.

Sergei Titov - You expect too much in my opinion, 4th is where I expect us to end up this season just behind the likes of Krasnodar and Lokomotiv Moscow, with Zenit being run-away winners.

Maksim Smirnov - I will go slap in the middle, 3rd place. Get that Champions League spot but not much more. It will be a transition with Luke coming in and bringing his ideas but you can guarantee we will be wanting every single point to the end.

But with that we thank you, goodbye.

*Taken from CSKA Armiya Youtube Channel posted 13th July 2019*


Scott: Well it seems like the fans expect a good season but nobody thinks we will topple Zenit just yet. The season preview suggests we will end 4th. I'd probably take 3rd this year as we are without two very important players for the majority of the season, but the aim will be to win the league very soon!
Luke's side are going fairly under the radar in a sense. That could certainly work to their advantage.
A young team is something to expect from a manager that has spent all of his previous management work with younger players. This could grow into something very exciting in the capital!

Santos and Shepelev Shine in Stunning Win

Santos seen celebrating with his team mates following third goal.

A stunning display from Lucas Santos and new signing Volodymyr Shepelev help CSKA Moscow to first victory under Luke Hendricks.

Luke Hendricks got off to an excellent start as manager of CSKA Moscow with a 4-1 victory over Ural in his sides season opener. Prior to the game it was known that Luke would be without key men Nikola Vlasic and new signing Chancel Mbemba, with both still away on extended leave. But the game saw debuts for Luis Olivera, Volodymyr Shepelev and Lucas Santos, with the latter two putting on a display of excellence throughout.

It was Volodymyr Shepelev who opened up the scoring for his side, a powerful strike slamming into the top left corner inside fifteen minutes, gave CSKA a great start. A start they built upon almost immediately with Arnór Sigurðsson latching onto a rebound from a Lucas Santos effort. Tapping home, the Icelandic international doubled his sides lead, giving his new manager a lot to be pleased with early on in his first competitive match. Volodymyr Shepelev then continued his man of the match performance, this time turning creator for fellow midfield partner, Ivan Oblyakov to strike from just outside the box.

A three goal lead at the half-time break, was certainly the perfect start for Luke, in a game that wasn’t supposed to be so straightforward. Ural, a consistent mid table side for the past five years since their promotion, had been known to make games tough for opponents, but Lukes side strolled through them.

That continued into the second half, with Lucas Santos providing the assist for Volodymyr Shepelev to seal the game, in a goal identical to his first. It didn’t go all CSKA’s way however, with Mário Fernandes throwing the ball straight to Andrey Panyukov who was able to set up Mikhail Merkulov, who duly finished.

With a lacklustre ending to the game, compared to the first hour, it finished 4-1, a performance to please the latest CSKA Moscow manager.

“A great start indeed, we were brilliant for 60 minuets today, which is great to see. However, we need to put in a full ninety minute performance every game and that is what I want to see from now on. But yes it is a pleasing result and one we can be happy about when we get back into training on Monday” said the new manager.

Hendricks also commented on his new signings performances and couldn’t hide his satisfaction with their individual performances.

“What can I say, Volodymyr (Shepelev) and Lucas (Santos) were brilliant today. They were everywhere and made things happen which is what is needed from their roles. However, it isn’t just those two that played well, the whole team did their bit to help the pair of them stand out and that is what is most pleasing about today. I look forward to having a full squad back as that will only boost this team further.” commented Hendricks.

Up next for Luke is his first away trip as a manager, as he takes his side on the 1,050 km trip to Samara to face Krylia Sovetov. Sovetov lost their opener 6-2 against FC Arsenal Tula in a game that shocked many.


Scott:Back on everyones radar with that win I imagine!
Jack:The excitement is only growing after that win, especially with a number of the youngsters impressing.
What a start for you in the season opener! Looking forward to more of the same
Not a bad start at all. In fact, you could even say that's a very impressive start.
An easy win over Ural. The Luke Hendricks era has started in style. Time to earn the crown of Russian football.

Maksim Smirnov - Month one of the season is completed, and Luke Hendricks first competitive month as a senior team manager. It has been a mixed start, with two wins a draw and a single loss, to current table toppers Krasnodar. What do you think of the start?

Sergei Titov - I’d say slightly above average, there are certainly areas that need improving but that will come. We had a couple of key players who are yet to be able to make an impact due to injuries or extended holidays. Vlasic only became available for the Krylya Sovetov game and is yet to start a match for us, whilst Mbemba only got back from holiday two days ago so still needs to regain his fitness.

Vadik Vassily - It’s been ok and I’d agree with Sergei that we have missed a number of players, that is clear to most. We have the tied most goals scored so far with eight, as well as the highest average possession with 61%. So there are certainly some positives there. However, we seem to be a sixty minute team at the moment and need to find that fitness to maintain Luke’s high pressing tactics throughout the entire game, but that will come.

Maksim Smirnov - Game one of the season came against Ural, Luke’s debut was impressive with a 4-1 victory. Volodymyr Shepelev was the standout performer, scoring twice and assisting once.

Vadik Vassily - It was a great start for sure, Shepelev showed just how great he could be for us and proved early that Luke was right to bring him in. However, he disappeared the next week against a team we really should've beaten in Krylya Sovetov.

Sergei Titov - Sovetov was a shocker in all honesty. Just a week before they had lost 6-2 but we just couldn’t get anything going. Chalov gave us the lead in the 22nd minute, but from then on in they were probably the better team. Their Brazilian winger Dentinho scored twice on the 54th and 70th minutes to put them ahead. Thankfully Arnór Sigurðsson put it back to level and that's how it ended. Probably a deserved point overall but a poor performance from us.

Maksim Smirnov - We then followed up that with a much improved performance against league leaders Krasnodar, however, we were unfortunate to lose that game to a Manuel Fernandes strike on the hour mark.

Sergei Titov - Well that game got off to the worst possible start with Akinfeev having to scrape through a last minute fitness test. We deserved to win that game, but we just couldn’t finish off our chances with their keeper Stanislav Kritsyuk having an incredible game. They are yet to concede a goal this season but interestingly have won all their games 1-0. They look a hard team to break down.

Maksim Smirnov - A very interesting point raised there by Sergei, not often you see such consistent run in results. Following that game we finally got back into the winning column beating Orenburg 2-1 away from home.

Sergei Titov - Yeah, back in the wins, but still to keep a clean sheet this season with them grabbing a 94th minute consolation. We really need to sure up at the back as we currently sit dead middle of goals conceded. For our ambitions to be matched that needs to be improved upon, I assume it will be helped with Chancel Mbemba being fit again.

Vadik Vassily - It does, but in the positives, a win is a win and we also saw Arnór Sigurðsson score his third goal of the season already, as well as Chalov scoring his second in four this time from the spot.

Sergei Titov - Yeah Sigurðsson has without a doubt been the standout for us this month, despite some highly impressive performances from Ivan Oblyakov, Volodymyr Shepelev and Lucas Santos, Arnór has been very consistent throughout.

Maksim Smirnov - Agreed, I think he has to be our Player of the Month this month having scored three in four from that left wing and as we suggested in the pre-season review, he is going to be a massively important player for us this season. However, he did unfortunately pick up a slight knock in the last game against Orenburg. He is expected to miss the next game against Tambov with a pulled groin, thankfully he shouldn’t be out for too long.

Vadik Vassily - Tambov have started the year of surprisingly well for a newly promoted side, currently sitting 5th. However, they haven’t had the toughest of starts so I expect, as good as Arnór has been, we won’t miss him too much. We should also have Chancel Mbemba back, although I expect he won’t feature much so soon from returning. But Nikola Vlasic could well be in with a chance of starting, as he has come off the bench in the last three games and is starting to look sharper again.

Maksim Smirnov - The pair of them will be welcomed into the squad with open arms as we have a massive month ahead of us. Kicking it off with Tambov, we then have our first Moscow derby of the season, as we face Spartak away. We then welcome Sochi and Rostov before the second derby of the month away to Dynamo.

Sergei Titov - It’ll be an interesting month, I believe. Sochi have got off to a tough start but have played some of the bigger sides in the league, including Zenit and Lokomotiv Moscow. Dynamo have also struggled against Zenit, whilst also playing 3rd placed Akhmat, so we can’t be fooled by their current positions. Similarly, we can’t be fooled by Tambov’s start and we should be beating a side of their quality. The main test will certainly be Spartak Moscow though and I am excited for a massive derby game.

Vadik Vassily - Those two derby games are going to be massive and we should be looking like a fully gelled side by the time we go to Dynamo. I am hopeful that by then Mbemba will be fit enough to play the full 90 as well as Vlasic, who really should be ready for the Tambov game.

Maksim Smirnov - How many points do you think we will take this month?

Sergei Titov - I would be happy with 11 points this month, as long as we go unbeaten. I think the two derby games will end in a draw, whilst we win all of the home games.

Vadik Vassily - I think we can beat Dynamo as long as we fully fit, therefore I will say 13 points this month, with the only dropped points coming against Spartak.

Maksim Smirnov - Interesting targets. But that is all we have time for today, thank you for watching.

*Taken from CSKA Armiya Youtube Channel posted 31st July 2019*


Aaron:It was a good start, but we haven't quite been able to build on it so far.
Scott:An impressive start, but not continued throughout the month with some poor results in there.
Justice:Might be a bit early for that!

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