Its not just CSKA Moscow the Real Madrid players are up against in their first leg tie of the Champions League last 16 but the Russian winter. Temperatures are expected to dip as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius in the Luzhniki Stadium.
Real take an impressive record to the capital, unbeaten in their six matches in the group stages scoring 19 goals and conceding two. Jose Mourinho has taken teams to CSKA Moscow four times as a coach in the Champions League with a 100 percent winning record.
The cold will not freeze his hot blooded team on the plastic pitch, he believes. “Artificial turf is not the same as the natural grass. Minus 10 of minus 15 is not the same as plus 10 or plus 15 and these conditions are new for us,” he said.
In Naples the focus is on what could be Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas’s final match in charge.
The Napoli players go into the home leg of the match as underdogs even though the club is unbeaten in European competitions in 11 successive matches.
“When we play in a certain way we are a team, whereas if things are not done well together we play in another way. We know the match is important and I think there is no chance of us committing errors,” said Napoli striker, Ezequiel Lavezzi
Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge has rubbished the continuing claims the team is divided and not behind their manager. The London club could risk the return of John Terry to the heart of their defence. Villas Boas will see Naples but will it be the death of his time at Chelsea?