CSKA Moscow: the team from Moscow ended in 2nd place on the Russian Super League, behind their rivals Spartak Moscow.
CSKA is a team with Champions League experience and is an usual suspect on the group stage. This year, they will try to reach the group stage again. Their squad is decent, without many changes from last year, and the team’s stars are Akinfeev and Dzagoev.
They also signed Vitinho from Internacional, a young Brazilian forward who can definitely be a player to watch on this Russian team. In 2 domestic league appearances, he has already made his scoring debut.
With 3 matches played, they have 6 points, winning vs SKA Khabarovsk but surprisingly losing at home vs Lokomotiv Moscow. After they won 2-0 in the 1st leg away, they faced off against SKA Khabarovsk, and they won 2-0 cleanly.
AEK Athens: The Greeks have returned to Champions League qualification after a drought that lasted for over 10 years. However, their stay will likely end soon, since their 2-0 loss at home in the 1st leg, leaves them in a really tough spot, needing almost a miracle to go through to the next phase.
This AEK team has several Portuguese players such as Hélder Lopes, André Simões or the experienced striker Hugo Almeida, but they have struggled in the 1st league so their future doesn’t look too bright at well in this competition.
CSKA Moscow vs AEK Athens:
The Russians have this perfectly under control and I believe they will eventually win this match as well. They are a stronger team, with more quality and experience but also better physically, which can be really important in the early stages of a season
AEK is forced to go on the attack and trying to score from the first minute in order to reopen this tie, but facing CSKA will be really difficult and with the Russians’ offensive solutions, I believe the team from Moscow will come out on top once again with their typical pragmatism.