RFPL Round 20: Results & Team of the Week

Week 20 in the RFPL marks the end of the Apertura, and the Winter Break is finally upon us. Unlike in Western Europe, this is actually a longer pause of play than in the summer, so expect some major overhauls and transfer dealings. Zenit St. Petersburg are getting their business done already just today confirming the signing of Anton Zabolotny on a three and a half year deal from local 'rivals' Tosno. The striker did not play for Tosno at the weekend, who lost 3-1 at home to league leaders … [Read more...]

Andreas Granqvist – FC Krasnodar’s Swedish warrior looking to return home

FC Krasnodar defender Andreas Granqvist is arguably in his best form ever. In November, he was Sweden’s most important player in their 1-0 aggregate win over Italy in the World Cup qualifiers that sent a shock through the footballing world, as Italy are now set to miss their first World Cup tournament since 1958. Especially in the return 0-0 leg at the San Siro, Granqvist was outstanding, singlehandedly controlling the Swedish defence. Just over a week later, he broke Zlatan Ibrahimović’s … [Read more...]

RFPL Week 20: Betting Advice & Previews

Game of the Week – Sunday 13:30 BST: Spartak Moscow - CSKA Moscow By James Nickels (@JamesNickels) Although not the oldest derby in Moscow, Spartak-CSKA is by far the fiercest and biggest with the most successful clubs of the Soviet and Post-Soviet era vying for dominance, and this could be the biggest Main Moscow Derby for years. Although last season's Spartak victory started the run that confirmed their first championship victory for 16 years, such a massive game after each teams' own … [Read more...]

RFPL Round 19: Results & Team of the Week

The most recent edition of our Team of the Week seems a little two-sided, literally. Seven of the players involved come from CSKA or Anzhi after their respective impressive 6-0 and 4-0 results at home to Tosno and SKA. Such was the dominant performance of CSKA's supremely talented midfield, all three were going to make up the RFN TOTW midfield trio, but Aleksandr Golovin was omitted due to his penalty miss (despite that brilliant goal). Elsewhere, Zenit returned to winning ways with a 2-1 … [Read more...]

Krasnodar Academy and the Russian Youth Cup

Russia’s annual U18 tournament is undoubtedly the most intriguing and important youth tournament in the country. Each year, regional playoffs take place throughout the country in order to select the top 16 teams, which then play in the national tournament. The prestige of winning a national tournament aside, this competition is significant in one special way: as Russia’s domestic champion, the winner gets the right to play in the UEFA Youth Champion’s League, and the opportunity to play against … [Read more...]

RFPL Week 19: Betting Advice & Previews

Game of the Week - Sunday 16:00 BST: Anzhi Makhachkala - SKA Khabarovsk By James Nickels (@JamesNickels) Game of the Week here focusses upon the relegation zone, with a key basement battle between Anzhi Makhachkala and SKA Khabarovsk in Dagestan. Three points are key for either side, especially the home team, whereas a SKA victory may just doom both in the long run. Anzhi Makh-catching up? I'm not sorry for that awful joke. But Anzhi has reemerged from certain relegation fodder in recent … [Read more...]

RFPL Round 17: Betting Advice & Previews

Match of the Round - Saturday 13:30 BST: FC Krasnodar - Spartak Moscow By James Nickels (@JamesNickels) One-man team? Igor Shamilov has been under pressure at Krasnodar for some time now, however, two convincing wins over promoted sides SKA (4-1) and Tosno (3-1) has eased the pressure somewhat. This is largely in thanks to in-form Fedor Smolov, who now has six goals in his last four games for club and county (including four in two for Krasnodar). Krasnodar is essentially a one-man team right … [Read more...]

RFPL Mid-Season Team Profiles

Following on from our more traditional Mid-Season Reviews of all RFPL clubs after 15 games, here we take a deep statistical look at how each side has performed in these Team Profiles. Read the Review of each side first by following the link below. READ MORE: RFPL Mid-Season Review – Part One   Team Profiles Lokomotiv Moscow: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde +10=2-3, 32 points, goals 32-11 First halves: +2=11-2, 17 points, goals 5-5 Second halves: +10=3-2, 33 points, goals 18-6 After 75 … [Read more...]

Comrade Yakov Iordanov: Spartak Moscow’s Lone Englishman?

Yakov Eordahnov, seemingly a typically Russian name, right? Not quite. In reality, this was James Riordan, the former professor of Russian Studies at the University of Surrey who led a rather interesting life as an academic, celebrity, class fighter and spy. But he was also the only ever Englishman to play for Spartak Moscow. At least according to Riordan himself. Many, including official Spartak club historians, have cast a doubt over his story's provenance.   Riordan's … [Read more...]

Football Manager 2018 – Which Russian Club Should You Play With?

The latest edition of everyone's favourite football management game, Football Manager 2018, is now out. At RFN, we have a number of big fans of the series and will continue our tradition of producing our own custom update for the Russian leagues, hopefully out later this month. But when this update is out, who should you manage? Here at RFN we could justify managing every club in Russia in one way or another, but to keep this short, we will name just five potential challenges. Update: Our … [Read more...]