Revolution in Kazan – A New Direction for Rubin

Rubin Kazan, the pride of Tatarstan, is no stranger to changes. Last summer, the club appointed Spaniard Javi Gracia from Malaga as new head coach, and they became Russia's biggest spenders as they brought in ten new players, including stars such as Alex Song from FC Barcelona and former Belgian prodigy Maxime Lestienne. Now the club has undergone a new revolution, and it is even more ambitious than the last. The appointment of Gracia was an attempt to westernise and advance the club to an … [Read more...]

Cherchesov’s Old Grudges Hinders Russia’s Chances at the Confederations Cup

When head coach of the Russian national team Stanislav Cherchesov announced his preliminary squad for the upcoming Confederations Cup on May 15, it surprised many that Lokomotiv Moscow's Igor Denisov had been overlooked. The 33-year-old UEFA Cup winner just finished one of his personal best seasons in a long time, and at the beginning of this month, he even scored the winning goal in the cup final against FC Ural. Nevertheless, Cherchesov overlooked him, instead opting for his teammate Dmitry … [Read more...]

What’s at Stake in the Last Round of the RFPL?

On Sunday afternoon, the last game of the 2016/2017 Russian Football Premier League season is played. After 232 games, some more exciting than others, it is time to close the curtain with the last eight games of the regular season. While Spartak Moscow have already secured the championship, and Tom Tomsk have been relegated, there is still plenty left to play for at both the top and bottom of the league. However, before we dig into the various battles in the league, we need to look at the rules … [Read more...]

Russian Football Premier League Week 29: Betting Advice and Previews

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 surround the beautiful game in Russia.  We have previously proven that we … [Read more...]

Nikolai Starostin: My Football Years (chapter 7) – The Consistency of Mastery

Nikolai Petrovich Starostin (1902-1996) was a Soviet football player and official. He was the co-founder of Spartak Moscow, which turned into the most popular club in the USSR and Russia, and worked as its head administrator for most of his life. Starostin is considered one of the most legendary and universally revered figures of Soviet football. In 1986, he published the book ‘My Football Years’ with Lev Filatov, and even well into his eighties, he retained a keen understanding of the game, … [Read more...]

Betting Advice for RFPL Week 12

Thomas Giles (@Thomas_Giles_UK): Bet One: €10 Amkar - Rostov: Under 2.5 goals @1.36 at Bet365 Any early season hopes of a title run-in for these two sides has now disappeared with both of them languishing eight points off top spot. However, there is no reason that, thanks to their consistency, they will not challenge for the European spots come the end of the season. Amkar and Rostov are the finest examples in the Russian Premier League of conservative football working. Neither side … [Read more...]

The Evolution of the 5 Man Defence in Russian Football

One of the most common opinions about the Russian Football Premier League (RFPL) – rightly or wrongly – is that the style of football and tactical approach applied to the games is somewhat straggling behind the rest of Europe. Common observations from pundits and football fans alike include that the RFPL is one dimensional, the football in Russia is slow, the football is old fashioned and the players are thugs. Many of these opinions will be drawn from the showing of Russian clubs in European … [Read more...]

RFPL Week 9: Betting Advice

Thomas Giles (@Thomas_Giles_UK):  Bet One: €10 Terek - Orenburg: Terek to win to nil @2.6 at Bet365 This fixture is certainly one of the more dull ones in the Russian Premier League this weekend, however, it is great for punters as it is incredibly predictable given the nature of the two sides. Generally you know what you're going to get with the Terek - no frills solid football which tends to get results against the smaller sides, especially at their home stadium of the Akhmat … [Read more...]

Spartak Stunned – Larnaca Late Goal Sends ‘Myaso’ Out of Europe – Photo Reportage

6.8.16 Europe League Third Qualifying Round - Spartak Moscow 0-1 AEK Larnaca (agg. 1-2), Trickovski '89   Spartak went down 1-0 to AEK Larnaca last night to go crashing out of Europe at the third qualifying round of the Europa League. Trickovski's 89th minute goal sparked joyous scenes for the Cypriot side, whose whole squad entered the pitch to celebrate when the Macedonian slotted home the match winner after finding himself in hectares of space to latch onto a through ball that … [Read more...]

Spartak Stun Arsenal Tula To Begin RPL 2016/17 Campaign – RFN Photo Reportage

Spartak Moscow 4-0 Arsenal Tula   Spartak began their 2016/17 RPL campaign with a stunning win over Arsenal Tula on Sunday. Two goals each from youngster Zhano Ananidze and then Quincy Promes gave "Myaso" a convincing win. Georgian maestro Ananidze was impressive throughout and took his two goals particularly well, notching his first with a cleverly curled shot in off the post to give Spartak the lead on six minutes. The 23-year-old's second of the game was even more spectacular, … [Read more...]