Interview with Maksym Kalynychenko, Part One: Spartak’s Situation Today

Maksym Kalynychenko, who played for Spartak Moscow from 2000-2008 sat down with Alexey Spektrowski in collaboration with our friends over at ProSpartak. Here we present Part One of the interview in English, where the pair discusses the current situation in Spartak, the players, and Massimo Carrera. ***   The first questions, of course, will concern Spartak. What happened in the game against CSKA? Well... Everyone saw what happened. We lost. Losing a game in two minutes is bad, … [Read more...]

RFPL Week 7: Betting Advice & Previews

Match of the Round, Saturday 15:30 BST: Spartak Moscow - Lokomotiv Moscow By James Nickels (@JamesNickels) Another week and another Moscow Derby as our Match of the Round. Spartak host Lokomotiv at the Otkrytiye Arena as they look to bounce back from successive derby defeats against Zenit and CSKA. Loko, on the other hand until last week had a very promising start to the season, until they were defeated 1-0 at home to newly promoted Tosno. Carrera Under Pressure? Some sections of the … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: FC Krasndar – Crzena Zvezda

First Playoff Round, First Leg: Bulls Bullish or Red Star Gleaming? Krasnodar enters this week’s Europa League match against Serbian side Crvena Zvezda in some spotty form. As of late, they have drawn against two potential relegation candidates in the RFPL. Between these disappointing draws came a last gasp victory over FC Akhmat, who is expected to challenge for European places this year. On top of their questionable form, injury concerns abound for Krasnodar, with some newcomers potentially … [Read more...]

Akhmat Grozny – Three Name Changes, Two War’s and One Crazy Owner

Before this season we saw a change in names with the team of Grozny. The city which is located in the province of Chechnya. So what happened to Terek Grozny? Why is it now Akhmat Grozny? And how has the war and the destroyed city affect the city’s greatest football team? History of Chechnya To understand everything, we must start it all from the beginning. Chechnya was taken over by Russia as early as in the middle of the 19th century. It’s a province which possesses several large oil fields … [Read more...]

Giuliano: Zenit St Petersburg’s Ephemeral Star

Giuliano Victor de Paula’s presence came to grace St Petersburg briefly; after only one full season with Zenit, he has now been sold to Fenerbahçe in Turkey. Despite a highly successful year in Russia which saw the Brazilian’s market value increase almost twofold, he appears to have left for the same modest €7m he arrived for. Mircea Lucescu’s star player found himself not especially needed under Roberto Mancini, and the fact, not least the manner of his departure, undoubtedly leaves some fans … [Read more...]

Champions League Preview: BSC Young Boys – CSKA Moscow

First Playoff Round, First Leg: Young Boys vs Old Boys? Young Boys By @FootballSwiss It was a mixed pre-season for Young Boys as they achieved some memorable wins and less than memorable defeats as they geared up for the new season. Lower league side Breitenrain, Salzburg and Russian side Grozny all defeated YB with Akhmat winning 4-1 at the beginning of the July. YB only managed two wins during their preparations with those coming against Wacker Innsbruck of Austria and more … [Read more...]

Reforming the Trans-Siberian Football League, Part Two: The Universal Solution

The Football National League is the biggest football league in the world according to geographic area, covering over 4,500 miles as-the-crow-flies and even crosses eight time zones. Due to the size of the league and other problems synonymous with Russian football such as fiscal instability, political corruption and systemic mismanagement, many clubs - as previously explored - do not face a race to thrive, but a battle to survive. READ PART ONE: Problems with the Trans-Siberian Football … [Read more...]

Zinchenko’s Italian Renaissance?

Reports in both England and Italy have emerged over the weekend that ex-FC Ufa star Oleksandr Zinchenko is close to joining SSC Napoli. Rumours of the switch were first broken last week by ESPN and La Gazzetta dello Sport but the financial aspects of the deal have now been leaked. It is rumoured to be a full season loan for a reported fee of €500,000 which will become a permanent €6 million deal if he makes 25 appearances of 45 minutes or more. Zinchenko was Guardiola's fourth Manchester City … [Read more...]

Weighted Ages For RFPL Teams After 5 Rounds

In what is going to be a regular feature, I’m going to give you some curious stats about RFPL. I developed a measure called “weighted season-average age”, which is more precise than the simple squad average age because it reflects actual usage of the players rather than simple presence in the squad list. Here’s how a given team’s weighted season-average age is calculated: First, you calculate the season-average age for all players in the squad. Season-average age is the average of a … [Read more...]

RFPL Week 6: Betting Advice & Previews

Match of the Round, Saturday 15:30 BST: CSKA Moscow - Spartak Moscow By Will Baumgardner (@WillBaumRFN) Both Spartak and CSKA Moscow enter this heavyweight matchup with something to prove. Spartak, last season’s champions, enter the contest in a middling eighth place in the league. On the other hand, CSKA, who finished second last year, come into the matchup in a disappointing fifth place. Both teams will be looking to turn their seasons around in what is sure to be an exciting matchup at … [Read more...]