RFPL Mid-Season Review – Part Two

As we are at the halfway stage of the 2017/18 season, it is now time to look at the season so far and how it has transpired for each RFPL member club. This mid-season review will look at the pre-season expectations for each club based on their squad and summer signings, cross-referencing with last season's performance and reputation. Then deducing whether or not each club is achieving its pre-season goals so far this season, the comparative high and low points so far for each club, expectations … [Read more...]

RFPL Mid-Season Review – Part One

As we are at the halfway stage of the 2017/18 season, it is now time to look at the season so far and how it has transpired for each RFPL member club. This mid-season review will look at the pre-season expectations for each club based on their squad and summer signings, cross-referencing with last season's performance and reputation. Then deducing whether or not each club is achieving its pre-season goals so far this season, the comparative high and low points so far for each club, expectations … [Read more...]

Champions League Preview: Sevilla – Spartak Moscow

Spartak Moscow travels to Spain on Tuesday night, facing off against Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium. Despite the 5-1 thrashing two weeks ago at the Otkrytiye, it will be a difficult night for the Red-Whites. Sevilla are fifth in La Liga and will be able to call upon the services of star man Steven N'Zonzi, who has been influential in midfield for Los Rojiblancos so far this season. Spartak themselves are still on a thirteen match unbeaten run, scoring twelve goals in their last … [Read more...]

RFPL Round 15: Betting Advice and Previews

Match of the Round - Sunday, 13:30 BST: Zenit St. Petersburg - Lokomotiv Moscow By Ben Clark (@dinoben_) As this weekend brings a close to the first half of the Russian Premier League season, it's fitting that the top two play against each other. Zenit, who host the game on Sunday, won't be knocking over any glasses with their current standing. In fact, people are more surprised at the fact that they come into this game second. It's their visitors on Sunday who can boast that … [Read more...]

Revolutionary Origins in Pre-Revolutionary Russia: the development of football in the Tsarist Empire

24 October 2017 marks the 120th anniversary of the first ever official football match played in Russia, a game between the Saint Petersburg Circle of Sports Lovers (SPb KLS) and the Vasileostrovsky Football Society. It was played out on parade ground of the First Military Academy, on the grounds of the Peter and Paul Fortress. This match is commonly regarded as the birth of Russian football. Although the first organised national division wasn’t formed until 1923, and the Soviet National team did … [Read more...]

RFPL Round 14: Results and Team of the Week

From just one draw in the whole of Week 13, we have now been treated to a league-high of five draws in just eight games through Round 14. Who said Russian football is boring, eh? Despite struggling at the bottom of the table, and Arsenal Tula defeating Zenit St. Petersburg last time out, Anzhi Makhachkala managed to defeat Arsenal 3-2 at the Anzhi Arena on Sunday evening, and one of their players makes our Team of the Week at the top end of the pitch. Other notable results are the only other two … [Read more...]

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...]