RFPL Week 4: Betting Advice & Previews

Match of the Round, Sunday 18:00 BST: Zenit St. Petersburg - Spartak Moscow By Martin Lowe (@PlasticPitch) This weekend’s belter pits the two pre-season favourites for the Russian Premier League title, with plenty of subplots to ponder in the run up. Reigning champions Spartak Moscow head to the Krestovsky to face Zenit St. Petersburg, a considerable gap behind the Northern powerhouse, with a certain trepidation, that defeat could see them fall 7 points behind the summit, after only 4 … [Read more...]

How will CSKA evolve in Europe post-Slutsky?

When CSKA Moscow lineup to play AEK Athens in Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie, it will be a familiar sight, yet the manner of performance to come will hopefully be very different. European audiences have grown accustomed to the Army Men taking part at the highest level of club competition, featuring in 6 of the last 8 editions, however the key difference this time will be in the dugout; a first European season to assess the merits of Viktor Goncharenko, after 7 … [Read more...]

Preview: Russia v Ivory Coast

Ahead of this week's friendly with Ivory Coast in Krasnodar, we've teamed up with Salim Said from African football website Sandals for Goalposts to give us the lowdown on Les Elephants, while we consider Sbornaya's prospects, three games from this summer's Confederations Cup. Russia On the back of a humbling away defeat to Qatar and a mediocre, dare I say lucky victory over Romania back in November, Russia embark on March’s brace of internationals against Ivory Coast and Belgium in … [Read more...]

The importance of the Europa League and Russia’s standing in European Football

It goes against reason to argue that Russia deserves another Champions League spot given we’re coming off the back of one of their most dismal tournament performances to date, with both Premier League representatives exiting in the group stage prior to the winter break. However, despite their shortcomings in UEFA’s premier competition, the Russian Football Premier League is primed to overtake the Portuguese Primiera Liga in becoming Europe’s 6th best league and clinch another direct ticket to … [Read more...]

The threat from China on the RFPL

It’s January, and the start of a new transfer window is here. This usually creates a little buzz of excitement, in anticipation of the talent that potentially could be drafted in, however in Russia as is the case across the whole of Europe at the moment, the mood is that much more cautionary over players being tempted out, to China. The impact of the Chinese Super League’s rapid spending continues into yet another transfer window. Last year’s marquee signing of Hulk to Shanghai SIPG for £45m … [Read more...]

Preview: Qatar v Russia

This week sees friendly action between the next two World Cup hosts of Russia and Qatar in Doha. We’ve teamed up with Asian football website Sandals for Goalposts to run the rule over the squads and likely outcomes ahead of Thursday's encounter. Qatar The Gulf nation will be using this home encounter with Russia as preparation for their last ditch attempt to crawl back into World Cup qualification reckoning, with a make or break tie in China ahead of them on Tuesday. Their form of late … [Read more...]

Russia v Costa Rica: Squad Evaluation

Russia’s upcoming friendly with Costa Rica in Krasnodar represents the second opportunity for new coach Stanislav Cherchesov to assemble his national team squad camp since he took over the hot seat from Leonid Slutsky after Russia’s Euros exit this summer. After hardly the most enthralling performances against Turkey and Ghana to kick start his reign at the beginning of the month, Cherchesov has made a couple of tweaks to his initial squad selection while continuing to disregard the widely … [Read more...]

Preview: Ajax v Rostov (UCL Playoff)

Last season's sensational silver-winners from FC Rostov are just two games away from the Champions League group stage. However, first of all they have to beat Dutch powerhouse Ajax. We have teamed up with Will Burns from Total Dutch Football to give you the best possible insight before the first of two crucial matches. Ajax: After a disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Roda JC on Saturday evening, Peter Bosz's Ajax hosts Russian Premier League side FC Rostov in what could be the most … [Read more...]

Ahmed Musa – Leicester City’s New Record Signing

Leicester City have officially confirmed the signing of Ahmed Musa from CSKA Moscow for a fee rumoured to be between £16-21 million. The signing of the 23 year old flyer has been muted for a few months now, but in the end it seems the Nigerian international has had his prayers answered, as he exits the Russian Premier League after an impressive four and a half year stint in the Russian capital. Career to date Ahmed Musa started his career back in Nigeria highly impressing in the domestic … [Read more...]

Three Rounds Left – The fight to escape the RFPL drop

With three matches left to play, tension at the wrong end of the Russian Premier League has reached breaking point. If no team’s fate is sealed this mid-week, this coming weekend promises to be the most nerve wrenching affair with the bottom six all due to play one another. Five seasons back when the league underwent their restructuring to fall into line with the European season schedule (Autumn-Spring), the relegation playoffs were introduced to add an extra dimension to the domestic end of … [Read more...]