Tuesday, March 16

Champions League draw countdown part 3

3 days to go

CSKA Moscow

And so the shocks keep on coming!

After coming away from the first leg with a 1-1 draw, Seville would have been confident of dispatching CSKA Moscow out of the contest.

But it was not to be as two Necid and Honda scored two crucial goals for the Russians sending them to the quarter final draw, which takes places at 11:00 on Friday.

United are certainly no strangers to CSKA and their tricky plastic pitch.

The two teams met in the group stages, with the reds bagging a valuable 1-0 win through a Valencia strike.

And, more famously, thousands of reds descended on CSKA's Luzhniki Stadium two seasons ago for the final against Chelsea - remember this? (...you might want to turn the volume down a bit if you're watching this at work).

So, should we draw Moscow on Friday, the three obvious questions would be - what would our allocation be, how would we get there and would we get visas in time?

The answers are - enough to satisfy demand, with difficulty, and maybe.

The first leg takes places 11 days after the draw and with most fans setting off as early as Monday March 29, that could leave as few as five working days to sort out a visa.

And, even if the away game was the second leg on either April 6 or 7, the Russian Embassy in London is already saying it won't post things out on April 2 or 5 because of Easter.

The main thing to remember is that the embassy says that, providing the visa applicant has followed the instructions, they should get their visa within seven days.

If we do draw Moscow, the sensible thing to do is choose a hotel and book it as quick as possible. booking.com offers many hotels which will only charge you on arrival and allow you to cancel at no cost up to 24 hours before arriving.

Doing this will allow your hotel to email you a letter 'inviting' you to Russia. You must have one of these in order to apply for a visa. All the other information you need about visas is here.
Providing you're willing to risk all of the above working out without a hitch, you can reach Moscow a few ways, though all are fairly expensive.

To Moscow Domodedovo
Heathrow - Transaero Airlines, bmi, British Airways - £344
Heathrow with one overnight stop in Geneva - £236

To Moscow Sheremetyevo
Heathrow - Aeroflot - £361
To Riga
Liverpool - Ryanair - £150
Stansted - Ryanair - £85
Gatwick - Air Baltic

Then a 17-hour coach for £50 or a 17-hour train for £70

London to Moscow via Cologne - £380 return, takes three days and would require a special visa as you'd travel through Belarus.

London to Moscow via Brussels, Cologne and Warsaw - £377, takes three days.
Helsinki to Moscow takes 13 hours by train and costs about £180 return, but there's no cheap way to reach Helsinki from Manchester to make it worthwhile.

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