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City news, 20.10.2005 17:13

CSKA, Zenit set to start UEFA Cup group stage campaigns

football_zenit_cska Holders CSKA Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg will play in the first round of the UEFA CUP on Thursday night.

CSKA will take on France's Marseille in Group F, and Zenit will face Portugal's Vitoria Guimaraes in Group H.

CSKA fans are optimistic about the team's chances against the strong, experienced French team. The Moscow side is playing well and has overhauled a seven-point gap with local rivals Lokomotiv in the Russian championship, despite injuries to two star players, Croatian striker Ivica Olic and Russian midfielder Yury Zhirkov.

Gimaraes encountered problems at the beginning of Portugal's championship, and is in 17th, second to bottom in the championships with only five goals in seven matches.

Both Russian clubs will hope to do better than Lokomotiv Moscow, which went down 0:1 in its first UEFA Cup match in Group B against Spain's Espanyol on Wednesday night.

CSKA-Marseille will kick-off at Moscow's Dynamo stadium 7:30 p.m. local time (3:30 p.m. GMT), and Zenit-Gimaraes, at St. Petersburg's Petrovsky stadium 8 p.m. Moscow time (4 p.m. GMT).

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