MOSCOW-Welshman Gareth Bale will miss Real Madrid’s Champions League game at CSKA Moscow with a thigh injury.
Bale, who has scored four goals this season, went off at half-time in Real’s goalless La Liga draw against city rivals Atletico Madrid on Saturday.
Captain Sergio Ramos, fellow defender Marcelo and midfielder Isco were also absent from the squad.
Real have won the competition for the past three years and beat Roma 3-0 in their opening Group G game.
Real are second in La Liga but have not won either of their past two matches.
Ramos has played all of Real’s seven league matches this season and coach Julen Lopetegui said the Spanish centre-back had been rested for the trip to Moscow.
“Sergio Ramos didn’t come because he’s played more than any other player in the league and he has to keep some energy in reserve for the rest of the season,” Lopetegui said.
“That’s all it is, simply management,” he added. “He’s not here in Moscow because I made the decision.”
- This will be just the third meeting between CSKA Moscow and Real Madrid in the Champions League after they met in the last 16 of the 2011-12 tournament. Real progressed 5-2 on aggregate despite a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Moscow.
- Current Champions League holders Real Madrid have not lost any of their past six encounters with Russian opposition in the competition (W4 D2), last losing to Lokomotiv Moscow in October 2001.
- CSKA Moscow have lost just one of their seven previous matches against Spanish teams in all European competitions (W3 D3), however that did come in their last such match and was against Real Madrid, a 4-1 defeat in March 2012.
- CSKA Moscow, who won their last Champions League home game 2-0 against Benfica, have not won back-to-back matches on home soil in the competition since October 2006.
- Real Madrid have won each of their past four away Champions League games, their best such run in the competition since February 2015 (five matches).
- Real Madrid fired in 30 shots (11 on target) in their opening game of the 2018-19 Champions League against Roma, more than any other side and their highest in a match in the competition since April 2017 against Bayern Munich (also 30 shots, 11 on target).
- After drawing with Viktoria Plzen in their opening game, CSKA Moscow will be looking to avoid defeat in both of their opening two Champions League matches in a season for the first time since 2006-07.
- Nikola Vlasic’s penalty against Viktoria Plzen was CSKA Moscow’s latest goal scored in a Champions League match (94:21) since Evgeni Aldonin against Besiktas in December 2009 (94:49).
Fixtures Tuesday 2nd October 2018