Red Devils minus five stars

MANCHESTER - Manchester United will be without five senior players for their Champions League group match away to CSKA Moscow tonight.

MANCHESTER - Manchester United will be without five senior players for their Champions League group match away to CSKA Moscow tonight.

England striker Wayne Rooney, veteran winger Ryan Giggs, South Korea star Park Ji-Sung, Darren Fletcher and Patrice Evra all remained in Manchester as the rest of the squad flew out to Russia on Monday, United's official website said.

Rooney sustained a calf injury playing for England in their recent World Cup qualifier in Ukraine recently and is still not fit.

Giggs featured for the whole of the English champions' win over Bolton on Saturday but suffered a knock towards the end of the 2-1 victory.

Evra was also injured against Bolton while Fletcher and Park missed the match at Old Trafford.

United top Group B with full points from two games, while CSKA have won one and lost one.

Meanwhile, United manager Alex Ferguson said he was not worried about the prospect of playing on CSKA Moscow's artificial pitch because it should help his team's playing style.

The Luzhniki stadium is the venue of their memorable victory over Chelsea on penalties in the 2008 final.

"I watched CSKA's previous Champions League game and I didn't see any issue with it (the pitch) at all," Ferguson told a news conference yesterday.

"It is a passing surface and we have good passers in our side. When (English sides) Luton and QPR had them all those years ago we always played well on them. We had a great record at those artificial pitches and that was when the artificial pitches weren't as good." - Sapa-AFP and Reuters

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