Karim Benzema Must Bring His Shooting Boots Against CSKA Moscow in the Champions League

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 19: Gareth Bale (rear 4th L) of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring a goal with his team mates during UEFA Champions League Group G soccer match between Real Madrid and AS Roma at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, Spain on September 19, 2018. (Photo by Burak Akbulut/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

CSKA Moscow will host Real Madrid in Matchday Two of the Champions League group stages. Real Madrid will depend upon Karim Benzema and Mariano Diaz for goals considering that Gareth Bale suffered an injury in his last match. CSKA Moscow need Nikola Vlasic to deliver a stellar performance.

CSKA Moscow Host Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s Form and Key Players

Real Madrid enter this match in unconvincing form. While Los Blancos kicked off their Champions League campaign with a 3-0 victory over Roma, the Spanish side recently lost to Sevilla and drew with Atletico Madrid. To complicate matters, Real Madrid lost Gareth Bale to injury against Atletico Madrid. The Wales international has an admirable four goals and three assists in eight appearances this season.

In the absence of Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Mariano Diaz need to bring their shooting boots. While Benzema has been criticized in the past for misfiring, he seems to have improved in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo with five goals in nine appearances. Additionally, Benzema’s role as a mere spectator in France’s successful World Cup campaign could provide him with extra motivation in the Champions League. Mariano Diaz, on the other hand, has the potential to produce moments of magic like Gareth Bale. For example, he fired in a spectacular curling effort in his last Champions League match. However, both of these strikers have to consistently prove themselves in the Champions League and to the Real Madrid faithful. In the last match, fans chanted, “Ronaldo, Ronaldo” after the team failed to score.

CSKA Moscow’s Form and Key Players

CSKA Moscow will play the match in slightly better form. The Russian side drew against Viktoria Plzen and Spartak Moskva and then defeated Orenburg 1-0. If CSKA hope to take even a point against Real Madrid, they will need their talisman Nikola Vlasic to build upon his respectable form. He has two goals and two assists in eight appearances this season. It’s also worth noting that Vlasic is on loan from Everton. Surely, he’ll be keen to impress against elite defenders like Sergio Ramos. However, make no mistake, if CSKA have ambitions of claiming even a point against Real Madrid, then players all over the pitch must put in top quality performances.

Prediction

CSKA Moscow will feel taller after their victory against Orenburg, but Real Madrid should still have too much quality in this match. The Spanish side will also be eager to return to winning ways.

CSKA Moscow 1-3 Real Madrid

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