RFPL Round 20: Results & Team of the Week

Week 20 in the RFPL marks the end of the Apertura, and the Winter Break is finally upon us. Unlike in Western Europe, this is actually a longer pause of play than in the summer, so expect some major overhauls and transfer dealings. Zenit St. Petersburg are getting their business done already just today confirming the signing of Anton Zabolotny on a three and a half year deal from local 'rivals' Tosno. The striker did not play for Tosno at the weekend, who lost 3-1 at home to league leaders … [Read more...]

Sergei Pryadkin: Just who is Mutko 2.0?

The president of the Russian Football Premier League and vice-president of the Russian Football Union, Sergei Pryadkin is one of the most important and influential of all apparatchiks in Russian football. He is essentially responsible for the influential decisions behind both the biggest league in Russia and it's links with the governing body. In a recent interview with Russian news agency TASS, he weighed his rather heavy opinion on how the new Premier League season is undertaking and … [Read more...]

Egor Titov: Enigmatic Footballer, Esoteric History

Egor Titov is a Spartak Moscow legend, spending thirteen years at the club during and after the great Oleg Romantsev's reign. As such, his opinion cast's a heavy shadow in the corridors of Tarasovka. His post-playing career has been spent as the assistant to fellow Spartak legend Dimitri Alenichev at both the Red-Whites and now Enisei Krasnoyarsk, currently atop the FNL and looking strong contenders for promotion to the Premier League. Titov is most likely largely unheard of too many … [Read more...]

RFPL Week 20: Betting Advice & Previews

Game of the Week – Sunday 13:30 BST: Spartak Moscow - CSKA Moscow By James Nickels (@JamesNickels) Although not the oldest derby in Moscow, Spartak-CSKA is by far the fiercest and biggest with the most successful clubs of the Soviet and Post-Soviet era vying for dominance, and this could be the biggest Main Moscow Derby for years. Although last season's Spartak victory started the run that confirmed their first championship victory for 16 years, such a massive game after each teams' own … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: Real Sociedad – Zenit St. Petersburg

Real Sociedad v Zenit St. Petersburg - Thursday, 7 December 20:05 GMT - Estadio de Anoeta, San Sebastián. Zenit St. Petersburg have already qualified for the Europa League knockout stages, joining both Spartak and CSKA in the next round. However, they now must travel to Spain in a direct shootout with Real Sociedad for first place. This is the most straight-forward of all games involving Russian sides in terms of permutations; Zenit simply must not lose in order to be seeded for the knockout … [Read more...]

Champions League Preview: Liverpool FC – Spartak Moscow

Liverpool FC v Spartak Moscow – Wednesday, 6 December, 19:45 GMT – Anfield, Liverpool. Spartak Moscow fans, players and officials will be hoping for an old-school mid-90s result on Wednesday night as they faceoff against Liverpool in a direct shootout for a Champions League knockout spot. All three of Liverpool, Sevilla and Spartak are still able to win Group E, in what promises to be an exciting final day showdown. How do they achieve this? For Spartak it's simple, but once again I'll hand … [Read more...]

2018 World Cup: Analysis of Russia’s Group

The biggest sporting event in the world takes place in Russia for the first time ever from 14 June 2018. On Friday, the 32 teams who have qualified discovered their fate and know exactly who they will be facing in the Group Stages, with the draw taking place at the Kremlin. For once, a site of disseminating information elsewhere. Here is a closer look at Group A of the World Cup Russia 2018. They will face Uruguay, Egypt and Saudi Arabia in what seems like a promising group for the hosts, who … [Read more...]

Champions League Preview: Manchester United – CSKA Moscow

Manchester United v CSKA Moscow - Tuesday, 5 December, 19:45 GMT, Old Trafford. CSKA Moscow goes into arguably the most important match in their recent history at the Theatre of Dreams, and you can't really get a bigger stage nor more difficult opposition for Viktor Goncharenko's men to guarantee they'll continue to play Champions League football in Spring 2018. First, here's the permutations from RFN statistician Alexey Spektrowski: CSKA advance to the Champions League knockout stage, … [Read more...]

RFPL Week 19: Betting Advice & Previews

Game of the Week - Sunday 16:00 BST: Anzhi Makhachkala - SKA Khabarovsk By James Nickels (@JamesNickels) Game of the Week here focusses upon the relegation zone, with a key basement battle between Anzhi Makhachkala and SKA Khabarovsk in Dagestan. Three points are key for either side, especially the home team, whereas a SKA victory may just doom both in the long run. Anzhi Makh-catching up? I'm not sorry for that awful joke. But Anzhi has reemerged from certain relegation fodder in recent … [Read more...]

RFPL Round 18: Results & Team of the Week

  This week's results were finally somewhat easier to predict, with a few expected scorelines such as Amkar's low-scoring home victory and CSKA, Lokomotiv and Rostov all winning. Ural's fine unbeaten home record came to an end on Saturday, and who else but former Uraltsy hitman Fedor Smolov? The RFN Top 50 2016 winner was presented with his award by our regular Englishman in Siberia, Andrew Flint and the Krasnodar striker looked almost as happy to receive it as he did to … [Read more...]