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...]

RFPL Winter Transfer Window – Team by Team Summary Part 1

The Russian transfer window closed at the end of February, and as we have finally gathered the full overview over a long and hectic winter, it is time to evaluate how the 16 Russian Football Premier League clubs did in the transfer market. In the span of three articles, which will be published in the following days, we'll evaluate all the clubs and grade their dealings. Amkar Perm Amkar started the window in the worst possible fashion, losing Russian prospects Aleksandr Selikhov and Georgy … [Read more...]

Russian Reactions to the Europa League Games and Draw

Rostov - Sparta Prague (5-1 on agg) Rostov will face Manchester United in the Round of 16 of the Europa League after a comfortable aggregate victory over Sparta Prague. A resounding 4-0 victory in Russia meant that only a major collapse in Prague would prevent Ivan Daniliants’ side from progressing. Dmitriy Poloz fired Rostov ahead but the 10-man hosts equalised seven minutes from time via former CSKA Moscow defender Vyacheslav Karavaev. Head coach Daniliants was pleased by his side’s … [Read more...]

Preview: Fenerbahce – FC Krasnodar

Fenerbahce (0) - (1) Krasnodar, Wednesday 5pm GMT, Istanbul First Leg Krasnodar shook off winter break rustiness to take a slender advantage back to Turkey thanks to debutant Viktor Claesson’s diving header just three minutes into the game in Russia last week. Fenerbahce offered very little threat going forwards as they failed to score a crucial away goal which may prove to be decisive. meanwhile, Cristian Ramírez was a revelation on his debut offering as much threat going forwards as … [Read more...]

Krasnodar – Fenerbahce Preview: A Chance for the New Boys to Shine

After a long winter break that saw some key business done for FC Krasnodar, they resume competitive action against Turkish giants Fenerbahçe on Thursday night, looking to improve on last season’s capitulation to Sparta Prague at the same stage. Russian clubs traditionally perform poorly in the knockout stages of continental competition, with many blaming the extended lack of match fitness, but with qualification for next year’s Europa League in the balance, Igor Shalimov’s side will be desperate … [Read more...]

Russian Clubs Gear Up for European Fixtures

After two months’ break, the Europa League kicks off in two weeks, and three Russian clubs are still competing in the tournament. On February 1, Zenit St. Petersburg, FC Rostov and FC Krasnodar all registered their squad for the next legs in the tournament, and it’s time to take the temperature on the Russian contenders left in European football. FC Rostov Rostov impressed everyone by finishing third in the Champions League Group of Death behind Bayen Munich and Atletico Madrid but ahead of … [Read more...]

Viktor Claesson – Krasnodar’s latest Scandinavian Import

In the winter of 2011, FC Krasnodar signed Armenian striker Yura Movsisyan at Danish side Randers FC. Two years and 23 league goals later, they sold him to Spartak Moscow for almost four times what they had paid for him themselves. The Armenian was the Bulls’ first Scandinavian signing, and he was quickly followed by much more. Since then, Krasnodar have signed Wanderson from Swedish side GAIS, Ragnar Sigurdsson from FC Copenhagen, and Stefan Strandberg from Rosenborg, while also adding Swedish … [Read more...]

RFN Top 50 2016: 3-1

3: Giuliano, Midfielder, Zenit (NEW ENTRY) No one really knew what to expect from the Brazilian when he joined Zenit before this season. After a couple of seasons in Ukraine with Dnipro Giuliano returned to Brazil in 2014, and left the public eye. When Zenit sold Hulk, many fans hoped for the club to replace him with a major signing, but Giuliano, who was brought in for €7 million, has done a better job than any marquee signing could ever do. Of course, it has been impossible for Giuliano … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: Krasnodar

Introduction The opening of the magnificent Krasnodar Stadium has failed to mask what has been a slightly underwhelming season on the pitch for the Bulls, but the firing of Oleg Kononov nevertheless came as a surprise. Another Europa League group stage campaign has seen them squeeze through thanks to a superior head to head record against Salzburg, while they are out of contention for the title having fallen 12 points behind Spartak Moscow already. A large part of the failure to spark in … [Read more...]

Reactions From Match Day 6 of European Football

This week’s European action saw Russian clubs play competitively for the last time before the winter break. In the Champions League, Rostov, ahead of PSV thanks to their historic win over Bayern, needed to avoid defeat in the Netherlands to reach the Europa League and they did just that. Leonid Slutsky bowed out as manager of CSKA with a 3-1 loss to Tottenham Hotspur, who progress to the Europa League at the expense of the Moscow side. In the Europa League, Krasnodar, already certain of their … [Read more...]