Brian Idowu – How Russia Lost a Promising Talent

At a time where more and more foreigners are naturalized to fill the spots on the Russian national team, and Russian youngsters struggle to earn playing time in the Russian Football Premier League, it is irony at its cruelest that the country could soon end up losing one of the few youngsters who has actually taken the difficult journey from talent to RFPL regular. The player is Amkar Perm’s defender Brian Idowu who has caught the eye of the Super Eagles. Idowu’s father is Nigerian while his … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast – Dodgy Pitches, Crisis At Tom Tomsk And The Latest Aleksandr Kokorin Scandal

Host Thomas Giles is joined by usual guests Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint to discuss the recent suspension of matches at FC Rostov and Rubin Kazan as a result of their poor pitches following the uproar surrounding the issue in Rostov's Europa League clash against Manchester United. They then talk about the financial chaos at Tom Tomsk and question whether allowing them to continue in the Russian Premier League undermines the competition. Finally, Aleksandr Kokorin is back in the negative … [Read more...]

RFPL Weekly Preview Round 20

From this spring, we are happy to announce that we have changed the format of the RFN Betting Advice. Instead of only covering a few games, from now on we’ll give you previews to all eight RFPL games each round, with an extensive look at one game, the Game of the Round.  In these previews, we’ll give you everything you need to know about the top flight, from injuries to form as well as all the chaotic aspects that surrounds the beautiful game in Russia.  We have previously proven that we … [Read more...]

Erik Hagen – The Defender Made of Stone With a Heart of Gold

Born in Veme, not too far from Norway’s capital Oslo, Erik Hagen played his first senior seasons for local clubs Jevnaker and Hønefoss before taking the step to the Norwegian top flight, Tippeligaen, and Strømsgodset in 1998, a club located in Drammen a few kilometres outside of Oslo. Here, Hagen stayed for two years before eventually leaving the club after they got relegated in 2000 to try his luck in the capital with Vålerenga. Hagen quickly gained popularity at Vålerenga for being the … [Read more...]

From Abramyan to Akinfeev – Top Eleven Goalkeepers With the Most Clean Sheets in the Soviet and Russian Top Flight

With CSKA Moscow's 4-0 victory at home against Tom Tomsk last Sunday, Igor Akinfeev recorded his 161st clean sheet in the Russian Football Premier League, a new record in the league and one more than the legendary Lev Yashin. With Akinfeev's incredible achievement, it is time to look back, and we give you the ten goalkeepers with the most clean sheets in the Russian and Soviet top flight. 10: Alyosha Abramyan (1965 – 1978: Ararat Yerevan) & Sergey Kramarenko (1964 – 1984: Neftchi Baku … [Read more...]

Editorial: Tom Tomsk Hurts the Sporting Integrity of the RFPL

Here are some numbers for you: Eight. That’s the number of months Tom Tomsk’s players have gone without being paid. 18. That’s the number of players who left the club this winter because of the unpaid salaries. 11. This was the number of academy players that were registered for the first team in the winter to replace those that left. 10. That’s the number of goals Tom have conceded in the first two Russian Football Premier League games this year. Zero. That’s the number of goals they have scored … [Read more...]

RFPL Preview Round 19

From this spring, we are happy to announce that we have changed the format of the RFN Betting Advice. Instead of only covering a few games, from now on we’ll give you previews to all eight RFPL games each round, with an extensive look at one game, the Game of the Round.  In these previews, we’ll give you everything you need to know about the top flight, from injuries to form as well as all the chaotic aspects that surrounds the beautiful game in Russia.  We have previously proven that we … [Read more...]

Reactions From RFPL Week 18

The Russian Football Premier League returned this weekend following the winter-enforced break and none of the top four sides recorded a win. Zenit and CSKA battled to a 0-0 draw on Saturday, meaning that Spartak had the opportunity to extend their five-point lead the top of the table against Krasnodar on Sunday. The leaders were held to a 2-2 draw and so the weekend’s big winners were Rostov, who thumped basement side Tom Tomsk 6-0 to move within a point of fourth spot. At the bottom of the … [Read more...]

Preview Rostov vs Manchester United: What The Red Devils Can Expect

Manchester United may be favourites to lift the Europa League come the end of the season but Jose Mourinho is taking nothing for granted against Rostov – and rightly so. Reacting in the immediate aftermath of the draw, the Special One described the tie as bad “in every aspect”. "They have a very good Champions League campaign, they beat Ajax and Anderlecht in playoffs. And in the group phase, a difficult group with Bayern and Atletico, they managed good results against them." The … [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...]