RFPL 2017/2018 – Who Has the Best Kit?

SKA-Khabarovsk Premier Liga newcomers, like some other teams, decided not to bother and use last year's kits. They probably figured that nobody saw it last season anyway, as the coverage of the FNL is almost criminally low. The kit itself is nothing special, but there is nothing to criticize either. I personally like their massive badge, which looks appropriate on this empty T-shirt. FC Tosno The club from the Leningrad Oblast, founded in 2013, still hasn't built its own identity. … [Read more...]

Season Preview: FC Ural

Ural will look back on 2016-17 as the season that could have been; reaching the Russian Cup Final for the first time was a momentous achievement for a side more accustomed to battling relegation than fighting for continental football, and the financial advantages a Europa League run would have brought could have offered extra security. As it is, they prepare to move into the redeveloped Centralniy Stadium later this year with a reasonably settled squad under the man who effectively resurrected … [Read more...]

RFPL Winter Transfer Window – Team by Team Summary Part 3

Terek Grozny Terek had perhaps one of the quietest windows in the whole league. However, they did some business, and the first move raised eyebrows everywhere, as they struck early to sign Kosovan winger Bernard Berisha from Anzhi. While it was thought he would be leaving Anzhi in the window, many, including us at RFN, think very highly of Berisha, and to see Terek seal his signing was a huge shock, as a move to one of the larger sides would not have been a surprise considering his clear … [Read more...]

A Closer Look at FC Ural’s New Man Aleksandr Lomakin

FC Ural’s head coach Aleksandr Tarkhanov is fully convinced that the team’s recent signing, Aleksandr Lomakin, will be of major importance for the Yekaterinburg outfit in the near future. During a short interview to FC Ural’s website, the experienced head coach remembered how hard it was to convince Lomakin’s former club, FC Yenisey, to release him and that the 21-year old midfielder has what is needed to help the team immediately. Lomakin was born in Moscow in 1995 and started playing … [Read more...]

Mid-Season Review: Ural Ekaterinburg

Just like last season, Ural find themselves heading into the new year with a relatively new manager in charge, but this time round instead of sitting pretty in mid table safety they are in the relegation playoff zone. Once again a suspicious match against Terek has precipitated the acrimonious departure of a Belarusian head coach with Vadim Skripchenko hot-footing it to Samara to take over at Krylia Sovetov days after a humiliating 4-1 home defeat to the Chechens. Whereas Viktor Goncharenko left … [Read more...]

Vadim Skripchenko’s Controversial Ural Split Leaves a Siberian Snowstorm

Ural v Terek is fast becoming a cursed fixture for Ekaterinburg’s Premier League outfit. Last year it precipitated the acrimonious departure of Viktor Goncharenko amid highly suspicious betting patterns and an apparent clash of philosophies between the coach and the combustible club President Grigoriy Ivanov, with the Belarussian manager going AWOL in his homeland before the split was confirmed. A year on, and after Sunday's humiliating 4-1 capitulation questions have again been asked about the … [Read more...]

Betting Advice for RFPL Week 13

Andrew Flint (@AndrewMijFlint): Bet One: €5 Lokomotiv - Anzhi: Anzhi to win with +1 handicap @1.68 at bet365 Lokomotiv are a side bereft of imagination going forward and offer very little serious threat other than to weak sides with problems of their own. Granted, their defensive record is impressive at home with just four goals conceded, but Petar Skuletic, Igor Portnyagin and Ezekiel Henty are hardly the most fearsome strikeforce in the Premier League, and they aren’t even guaranteed a … [Read more...]

LIVE Ural 1-4 Terek

Welcome to the first live RFPL match blog! You've picked an absolute cracker to join us (absolutely no sarcasm intended, honest...) as Terek visit Ekaterinburg to take on struggling Ural. The temperature is hovering around zero with a fair whack of snow covering the ground outside the stadium,  but the pitch itself looks reasonably firm so fingers crossed for a decent game. Team news coming up shortly... No luck catching Chisa after the press conference, no luck for Skripchenko, and now … [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...]

The Return of Emmanuel Frimpong

Before the international break Russian football welcomed back one of its more colourful characters as Emmanuel Frimpong made his debut for Arsenal Tula in the closing stages of their 1-1 draw away to Ural. Although his late cameo was brief as the predominantly direct style mostly bypassed him, he wasted no time in making headlines upon his return to the Russian Premier League, although thankfully this time is was not at the centre of a disgusting case of racist chanting from opposition … [Read more...]