CSKA Moscow face Inter in wake of bombing
CSKA Moscow will play for "pride and honor" in the first leg of its Champions League quarterfinal at Inter Milan, with Wednesday's game coming just two days after suicide bombers killed 39 people in Moscow subway stations.
"It's a real tragedy, there's no other way to describe the pain," CSKA manager Leonid Slutsky said on Tuesday. "The city of Moscow has cried and it's a loss for all of Russia. We will do our utmost to honor our country and our football with great pride."
CSKA will likely wear black armbands.
Inter, meanwhile, needs to bounce back after its 2-1 loss to AS Roma in Serie A at the weekend.
"We're bitter about the loss and that's normal, but the climate within the team is calm and now we're looking forward," said forward Diego Milito, who scored on Saturday.
Slutsky attended the Roma-Inter game, and said the fact that Inter lost will give the Italian side greater motivation.
Inter also lost in Serie A - 3-1 to Catania - days before eliminating Chelsea in the previous round. Inter - a two-time European champion in the 1960s - is seeking to reach its first semifinals since 2003, when it lost to city rival AC Milan.
CSKA is the first Russian team to reach the quarterfinals since Spartak Moscow in 1996 - losing to French side Nantes.
CSKA midfielder Milos Krasic is the joint-leading scorer among players still in the competition with four goals - though Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo remains out in front with seven.
In their Russian league match on Friday, midfielder Keisuke Honda and striker Tomas Necid scored in a 2-1 win for CSKA over Anzhi, giving Slutsky's side seven points from three games in the three-week-old Russian season.
Slutsky rested several key players ahead of the Inter game, and he has no injury worries.
"Inter has stopped Chelsea and is a definite favorite," the coach said. "But we are used to being underdogs. We will see - maybe they will underestimate us."
Krasic said CSKA would play a defensive game, relying on counterattacks to score.
"I'm sure we will have our chances," he said. "They key will be to capitalize (on them)."
Inter center back Lucio and midfielder Thiago Motta are suspended. Either Ivan Cordoba or Marco Materazzi should replace the former, while Dejan Stankovic or Goran Pandev may start in midfield.