Manchester United need just one point against CSKA Moscow at Old Trafford to secure top spot in Group A of the Champions League, but will be through in the last 16 provided they avoid a seven-goal defeat.
CSKA, meanwhile, must pick up more points than Basel, who face Benfica away on the same night, to guarantee a place in the knockout stages.
Basically, barring a major catastrophe, Man United are through and, although Jose Mourinho insists he will take the game seriously, he is expected to rest a number of key players ahead of the weekend’s Premier League derby with Manchester City.
David de Gea is not expected to be involved, with Sergio Romero to be named in between the sticks and Joel Pereira on the substitutes bench.
Luke Shaw is also set to make his first Red Devils appearance since October and Paul Pogba will also be drafted in as his suspension only applies to domestic games.
United are unbeaten in their previous five meetings against CSKA and have only lost two of their last 48 CL group games on home soil.
In the Group C match, Chelsea have the chance to secure top spot in Champions League Group C when they host Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte’s charges are two points clear at the top of their group and have already qualified for the knockout stages, but will be eager to send a potential latter-stage rival out of the competition.
Diego Simeone’s charges are in third place, two points behind Roma in second, so they know that anything less than a win and they are eliminated.
However, even a win could see them drop to the Europa League as the Giallorossi only need to beat FK Qarabag to secure their passage to the last 16.
David Luiz missed training on Monday as he continues to struggle with a knee problem, while Atletico’s Juanfran is pushing for a return from injury.
It remains to be seen how Chelsea line up against the Spaniards, especially considering that Antonio Conte has suggested that finishing first could also yield fearsome opponents in the last 16 – Bayern Munich, Juventus and Real Madrid are currently second in their groups.
Atletico, meanwhile, will be taking to the pitch all guns blazing to keep their slim qualification hopes alive for as long as possible, so I see the visitors taking all three points.
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