Lille v CSKA Moscow preview

The sought-after Belgium international will get the chance to test
himself against Europe’s elite after he played a major role in
Lille’s breakthrough Ligue 1 success last term. Hazard enjoyed a
stellar campaign that drew the interest of bigger clubs around
Europe, with Lille reportedly turning down a number of bids for the
20-year-old in the summer. After beginning the new season strongly
as well – Hazard scored twice in the 3-1 weekend win at St Etienne
– Hazard’s performances in the Champions League are likely to come
under close scrutiny. But, despite the big clubs apparently
circling, Hazard is content to focus on helping Lille in their
return to the Champions League for the first time in five years. “I
am happy to be playing in the Champions League because usually I
just watch it on TV,” he told France Football. “I am feeling very
good so far this season. Hopefully this can continue in the
Champions League.” Lille reached the knockout stages last time they
were in the Champions League and are likely to challenge CSKA for a
qualification place in Group B, which Inter Milan are expected to
win. With Turkish side Trabzonspor making up the group, tomorrow’s
match could prove vital and assistant coach Frederic Bompard
believes his side can start with a win. “I have watched CSKA’s past
three matches and I noted that they prefer to play a 4-4-2
formation,” he said. “They play with two defensive midfielders who
are both very good on the ball and look after possession. Elsewhere
they can be a little slow though. “They are a good team, a team
that is of course able to be beaten, but a good team.” CSKA flew
into northern France today without some of their key men, most
notably their captain and Russia goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev as well
as Keisuke Honda. Both have been ruled out with long-term injuries
and in Akinfeev’s place CSKA will rely on young goalkeeper Sergey
Chepchugov, who was in goal for a 4-0 home defeat by Dinamo Moscow
at the weekend. Lille have defensive worries of their own with
Marko Basa (groin), Aurelien Chedjou (leg) and Franck Beria (ankle)
all doubtful.