The Black Secret of Luzhniki – Between Memory and Oblivion

20th October 1982, Sixty-six Spartak Moscow fans would traverse up the stairway on Tribune C of the Central Lenin Stadium, the current Luzhniki, for a UEFA Cup game against Dutch side HFC Haarlem. This would be the last time they would ever make their journey, as, during injury time, they tragically died in a stampede, the majority of which were adolescents enjoying their first-ever game. 38 of the victims were aged eighteen or under, with the youngest, schoolboy Volodya Anikin, who had just … [Read more...]

Is Samara ready to host the 2018 World Cup?

With the World Cup coming up in less than a year, cities all over Russia are giving their best efforts to prepare for the competition and the massive influx of tourists it will undoubtedly bring. At the beginning of September, Russian Football News had the opportunity to visit Samara; the sixth largest city in Russia and host of six World Cup matches next year. During the time there, a close eye was kept on the changes that were being made in time for the World’s most popular sporting … [Read more...]

FC Ufa – How To Run a Small Club in Russia

When FC Ufa was promoted to the Premier League (RFPL) in 2014, they were one of the smallest sides in history to make the top flight. Having only existed since 2010, it took them just three seasons to rise from Professional Football League (PFL), the third tier, to the top flight, though many predicted it would not last long. How could a side like Ufa last in a league dominated by elite teams? The answer lies not just on the pitch, but behind the scenes.   At Europe's End Ufa is one of … [Read more...]

Everything You Need to Know About: Lokomotiv Moscow

Last year, Lokomotiv Moscow finally got rid of president Olga Smorodskaya, the first female to hold that position in Russian football. The new guy in charge, Ilya Gerkus, has been doing well in terms of marketing, but what is more important — he invited the legendary coach Yuri Semin, who won most of the Lokomotiv’s trophies, to come back. While this was a popular move among the fans, everything hasn't gone exactly to plan. Lokomotiv only finished eight last season, and had they not won the … [Read more...]

Everything you need to know about: FC Spartak Moscow

After a decade and a half of obscurity, Spartak Moscow is finally back to the big time, back into the Champions League and winning trophies. However, the honeymoon was short-lived as "good old Spartak" thus far in 2017/18 have returned to their now all too welcoming mediocrity. Hopefully, as in the grand days of Oleg Romantsev and Konstantin Beskov's reigns, Spartak have the potential to thrive in Europe. History Spartak has its foundations in the Russian Gymnastics Society (RGO Sokol), which … [Read more...]

A Mess Worth Making? – The Rise and Fall of Mordovia Saransk

In Russia as elsewhere in football, it is a reasonably rare thing to see a team emerge from obscurity, climb the league system and find itself dining at the top table of the national game. When it does happen, it is often thanks in no small part to a sudden influx of cash – Wigan, Hoffenheim, RB Leipzig – which history has shown does not always stick around. Even established clubs who catch the taste of success – Anzhi, Portsmouth, Deportivo – often find that their flirtations with glory come at … [Read more...]

Most Decorated Players of Soviet and Russian League Football

After a previous article exploring the "Soviet Champions, too" (players who played just one game in a season in which their team won the league), it's only logical to show the polar opposite: The most decorated players of Soviet and Russian football. READ MORE: "I was a Soviet Champion, too!" For this, I devised a numerical formula. Each trophy is worth a specific amount of points (league title - 50, European cup - 40, Soviet/Russian cup - 25, European Supercup - 10, Russian Supercup - 5). … [Read more...]

UCL Group A Opposition: Between Hope and Reality for CSKA

Less than 24 hours after CSKA clinched their way to Champions League Group Stage, UEFA held the group stage draw in Monaco. Since CSKA finished as the runner-up in the league – coupled with their low coefficients – they were placed in Pot 4 along with other minnows. SL Benfica, Manchester United, and FC Basel were drawn into group A to face the Army Men. Here we summmarise the other competitors in Group A, in order to visualize the competition as well as CSKA’s chance in the tournament. SL … [Read more...]

RFPL Week 8: Betting Advice & Previews

Last week, in Round 7, we achieved our best ever results in the RFN Betting Advice, earning an incredible +€149.75 in profits, with the overall RFN Total rising from +€366.79 to +€516.54. We hit 5/8 results, in a welcome return to form after a couple of disappointing weeks. Two of our writers moved into the plus for the first time since last season. Our best performer of the week was Artëm Makarevitch, who achieved a personal profit of +€76 after advising to bet €10 on a draw in the game between … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: Crvena Zvezda – FC Krasnodar

First Playoff Round, Second Leg: Fyodor Smolov's Return? Last week’s Europa league clash between Krasnodar and Crvena Zvezda was a thriller. Featuring five goals, one improperly disallowed and scoring chances aplenty, there was no shortage of excitement at the Krasnodar Stadium. Krasnodar comes into this game with a deserved 3-2 lead after they controlled most of the game at their home arena. Though Krasnodar does have this lead heading to Serbia, Crvena’s two away goals mean that they are in a … [Read more...]