RFPL Week 12: Betting Advice and Previews

Match of the Round, Sunday 14:30 BST: Lokomotiv Moscow - Dinamo Moscow By Toke Theilade (@TokeTheilade) Once again, it is time for a Moscow derby. This time the game is played in Cherkizovo, where Lokomotiv are hosting Dinamo. Both teams have struggled recently, so this game is the perfect opportunity for them to bounce back. Lokomotiv are in good form Under the guidance of Yuri Semin, Lokomotiv have developed a lot this season. They are now picking up points they would have lost last … [Read more...]

Season Preview: Lokomotiv Moscow

The Super Cup, which was lost 2-1 to Spartak Moscow after extra time, brought to light both the strengths and weaknesses of Lokomotiv Moscow. On the one hand, head coach Yuri Semin can count on a team which never gives up and on a reliable defensive line; on the other hand, it's clear that the Railwaymen lacks quality in several positions and also need a deeper bench. All of this was evident last season as well, when despite lifting the Russian Cup, Loko performed very badly in the league, and … [Read more...]

Season Preview: FC Krasnodar

Krasnodar have qualified for the Europa League three years in a row now and will be aiming to do so again in Igor Shalimov’s first full season in charge of the Bulls. This may look harder than ever with the disappointing performances of the team last season both in Europe and domestically, questions marks over the future of star player Fyodor Smolov and the emergence of Rubin Kazan and Akhmat Grozny as genuine contenders for European qualification. This summer has been somewhat of a … [Read more...]

Season Preview: Akhmat Grozny

FC Akhmat Grozny has witnessed a considerable amount of changes this summer.  Not just notably a managerial change, as Rashid Rakhimov has left the club and been replaced by former FC Krasnodar coach Oleg Kononov, but also their official club name. Terek Grozny, as the club was previously known, was named after the city Grozny and the subsequent River Terek which flowed through her. This summer, however, the club was renamed after the first president of Chechnya, Akhmat Kadyrov, whom the … [Read more...]

Season Preview: Amkar Perm

When talking about Amkar, the first word that comes into mind is stability. Since their promotion to the RFPL in 2003, they've never been relegated and also managed to play European football a couple of times. The most surprising fact is that the Perm-based club has one of the lowest budgets in the league and in every transfer window they're forced to sell key players in order to survive. Last season, wasn't an exception. For most part of the season, it seemed that they could fight for an … [Read more...]

Season Preview: Spartak Moscow

Since the elation of last season’s championship win, Massimo Carrera has understandably kept a steady ship during the 2017/18 off-season, overseeing merely two incomings and sanctioning only two senior departures, at the time of writing. The club’s first Russian title in sixteen years may have been a long and agonising drought, but was worth the wait for the fans of the Red-Whites, with the victory Spartak’s 10th Russian championship victory, extending the club’s record as the most successful … [Read more...]

Season Preview: SKA Khabarovsk

Based in the Far East, near China, Japan and North Korea, SKA Khabarovsk was the team that none of the Premier League clubs wanted promoted from the FNL last season. However, they have more than earned their right to participate in the top flight after beating Orenburg in a promotion/relegation playoff a couple of months ago. Although the other Premier League clubs  are no doubt annoyed by SKA's appearance in the top flight this season, there is also a lot of intrigue which has gathered interest … [Read more...]

RFN Podcast: RFPL Season Preview

Thomas Giles is joined by regular guests Toke Theilade and Andrew Flint to preview the upcoming 2017/18 Russian Football Premier League season. https://soundcloud.com/world-football-index/russian-football-news-season-preview You can find the podcast on SoundCloud, or subscribe via iTunes by clicking here. You can also subscribe via iTunes by selecting – File, Subscribe to Podcast – and entering the following … [Read more...]

Season Preview: Zenit St. Petersburg

When André Villas-Boas left Zenit at the end of the 2015/16 season, he was replaced by the man who had turned Shakhtar Donetsk into the dominant force of Ukrainian football, Mircea Lucescu. The Romanian even managed to win a trophy in his first official match at the club, as his side beat CSKA Moscow in the Russian Super Cup. This, however, turned out to be the only silverware Zenit would win all season, as they crashed out of the Europa League in the Round of 32, missed out on Champions League … [Read more...]

Season Preview: Rubin Kazan

This time last year, Rubin Kazan fans were filled with hope and promise. Their team had spent €40m on transfers, and appointed Spaniard Javi Gracia as their coach, but come the end of the season, they were languishing in 9th place, with Gracia working on borrowed time. A month later, Gracia was gone, and after lengthy rumour, Rubin's legendary manager from 2001-2013, Kurban Berdyev, rejoined the club after two highly successful seasons at FC Rostov. Berdyev is not alone in making the swap … [Read more...]