The build-up to tomorrow’s Champions League game has all been about the state of the pitch…and more recent reports do sound somewhat concerning. Even if, we are told, the pitch starts off in reasonable condition it won’t be long before it ‘cuts up’ quite badly.
Fernandinho is the latest to voice his concerns regarding the playing surface and he should know as well as most; having spent 8 years playing his football in that country and its ground-wrecking weather affects. Whilst forced to play at the home of FC Khimki whilst their own ground is still under construction; the Arena Khimki, it would appear, could be something of a threat to the wellbeing of our (and of course CSKA Moscow’s) players. Brace yourself for a possible ankle or knee injury…
Update: Manuel is not happy with the pitch at all...
So with the chance of it being played on something that might resemble a recently ploughed farmers field, I’m not even going to try to guess the outcome of the match; rather I’ll simply hope for at least a draw and a clean bill of health for our players going into a far more important game in London just 95 hours later.
Possible line-up against CSKA Moscow:
Or, alternatively, he could go…
…with Navas having not played again against West Ham and Jovetic barely making an appearance either; along with the fact that Pellegrini might, perhaps, save Yaya, Nasri and Aguero’s legs for our tough trip to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.