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 minutes: +8=4-3, 28 points, goals 16-7

In the first halves of this season, Lokomotiv looks like a quiet, unassuming team: eleven draws, nine of them goalless. And then, in the second half, Loko turns into the all-crushing Mr. Hyde (I’d say “Hulk”, but this name associates with Zenit in the RPL). The Railwaymen mainly ensure their results in the first half-hour of the second half: they have “just” turned two draws into wins on the last minutes. It would be interesting to watch one of Yuri Syomin’s half-time talks.

 

Zenit St. Petersburg: Stability Is the Mark of Mastery
+8=5-2, 29 points, goals 23-9
First halves: +5=7-3, 22 points, goals 8-3
Second halves: +8=5-2, 29 points, goals 15-6
After 75 minutes: +7=5-3, 26 points, goals 18-6

At first glance, numbers tell us that first halves aren’t Zenit’s most strongest suit too, especially compared with second. But even 22 points were enough for a third place in the first-half crosstable. And Zenit’s defence in the first half is very good: they conceded only three goals. Only two teams conceded the same amount of first-half goals: Amkar, whose matches don’t feature many goals anyway, and… Spartak, which conceded two of those goals from Zenit.
In the 75th minute crosstable, the St. Peterburg team also comes third, and their second-half results are almost identical with full-time: the same amount of wins, draws and losses, and the same place.

 

CSKA Moscow: Depending on the MOOD
+7=4-4, 25 points, goals 15-10
First halves: +4=9-2, 21 points, goals 7-4
Second halves:+5=8-2, 23 points, goals 8-6
After 75 minutes: +6=5-4, 23 points, goals 12-9

The Army Men finish their first halves comparatively peacefully, but in the second half, three of their five half-time draws turned into wins, while two more became losses. It looks like their results really depend on the mood: if they play good, they win, if they aren’t so good, they lose.

 

FC Krasnodar: No Compromises
+7=3-5, 24 points, goals 21-15
First halves: +5=4-6, 19 points, goals 7-8
Second halves: +7=5-3, 26 points, goals 14-7
After 75 minutes: +7=2-6, 23 points, goals 15-11

Only four Krasnodar games featured half-time draws – in all other games, someone always scored; curiously, it was either Krasnodar or their opponents, but not both. In the second half, Krasnodar usually play better, and the amount of draws decreases even more; perhaps Shalimov’s team takes the expected points model very seriously and thinks that it’s better to either win or lose fighting for 1.5 points, rather than be satisfied with a 1-point draw?

 

Ural Ekaterinburg: Slyly and Quietly
+5=8-2, 23 points, goals 18-14

First halves: +5=6-4, 21 points, goals 8-6
Second halves: +7=3-5, 24 points, goals 10-8
After 75 minutes: +4=8-3, 20 points, goals 13-11

Ural are one of the season’s more pleasant surprises. They don’t particularly shine or get any sensational results, but they steadily collect “their” points against the lower table. Ural are fourth both in the first-half and second-half crosstables, ahead of CSKA in both (this may seem a tad paradoxical, but don’t forget that it’s scored goals that are important, not the mean between first- and second-half results).

 

Spartak Moscow: So Last Season
+5=7-3, 22 points, goals 22-20
First halves: +9=5-1, 32 points, goals 13-3
Second halves: +3=5-7, 14 points, goals 9-17
After 75 minutes: +9=5-1, 32 points, goals 19-10

Among the superhero series fans, there’s a trope called So Last Season. It’s in play when a new season of the series begin, and old superpowers become not strong enough to defeat new “monsters of the week”. Something similar is happening with Spartak. They absolutely dominate in the first halves, then comfortably hold the same results until 75th minute… and then they collapse, draws turn into defeats, and wins into draws

Last season, the results of 27 (!) out of 30 Spartak’s league matches were set before 75th minute: if Spartak led in the score, they won, if they were behind, they lost, and if there was a draw, they drew. But in the new season, their “superpower” (the ability to hold onto a score) isn’t strong enough for the last fifteen minutes, and the results are clear: 10 lost points and 10 goals conceded after the 75th minute (with only 3 scored).

 

FC Ufa: Another Second-Half Team
+5=6-4, 21 points, goals 13-16
First halves: +2=10-3, 16 points, goals 3-6
Second halves: +6=4-5, 22 points, goals 10-10
After 75 minutes: +3=7-5, 16 points, goals 7-11

Before the half-time, Ufa are almost as peaceful as Lokomotiv: 10 draws (9 of them goalless). But in the second half, action really picks up: twice more goals are scored, the stories are interesting (like Krotov’s brace that gained Ufa a point in Khabarovsk). Moreover, in the last 15 minutes, Ufa (again, like Lokomotiv) have managed to win two drawn games, but, unlike Lokomotiv, lost one.

 

Arsenal Tula: Spartak Lite
+6=2-7, 20 points, goals 15-17
First halves: +7=6-2, 27 points, goals 10-5
Second halves: +2=6-7, 12 points, goals 5-12
After 75 minutes: +6=4-5, 22 points, goals 14-13

In the first-half crosstable, Arsenal are second behind only Spartak. Sadly, Bozovic’s team begins to crumble much earlier than the Red-Whites: before the 75th minute, two of their wins and one draw “turned into” losses, and in the last 15 minutes, Arsenal lost two more drawn games. The Tula team managed to win only two second halves, but what second halves they were – against Zenit and CSKA, and both of them turned into overall 1-0 wins for Arsenal.

 

Akhmat Grozny: If Only the Youth Knew…
+5=3-7, 18 points, goals 16-21
First halves: +2=8-5, 14 points, goals 2-5
Second halves: +4=6-5, 18 points, goals 14-16
After 75 minutes: +4=7-4, 19 points, goals 8-10

The freshly-renamed Grozny club mostly signed young Brazilians in the last transfer window, becoming the youngest RPL club in the process, isn’t doing too great – and this already led to the saking of Oleg Kononov. Akhmat were very weak before the half-time (they share 13th-14th place with SKA in the first-half table), got slightly better in the second, but after 75th minute, they lost three drawn games (winning only one) and conceded eleven goals – even more than Spartak. Although they have also scored more than anyone in the same time period. All in all, 19 goals were scored in the last 15 minutes of Akhmat matches – a great recipe to prevent fans from exiting early, perhaps.

 

Rubin Kazan: …If Only the Old Could
+5=3-7, 18 points, goals 17-14
First halves: +4=9-2, 21 points, goals 8-5
Second halves: +4=5-6, 17 points, goals 9-9
After 75 minutes: +6=7-2, 25 points, goals 14-7

The Kazan team are second only to Spartak in an inglorious list of teams that lost the most points in the last 15 minutes. If second halves were only 30 minutes long, Rubin would comfortably occupy the fourth place with only two losses. But from 76th to 90th minutes, Berdyev’s lads (by the way, one of the oldest team in the league) managed to lose seven points. If we simplify, we may say that Rubin’s five draws turned into losses, and one win into a draw. Rubin scored just three goals at that time, and conceded 7.

 

FC Rostov: Bloodied, but Not Broken
+4=6-5, 18 points, goals 14-14
First halves: +2=9-4, 15 points, goals 5-7
Second halves: +5=5-5, 20 points, goals 9-7
After 75 minutes: +4=5-6, 17 points, goals 11-13

Before the season, Rostov lost almost the entire first team – most of the players joined either Rubin or Zenit (the last to leave was Miha Mevlja). The new team, hastily assembled by Leonid Kuchuk, plays as well as it can. Rostov’s strategy is similar to Ufa and Lokomotiv: calm down the opponent before half-time, then strike early in the second half and hold on to the results. And, adjusted for the team quality, it works, allowing Rostov to reside mid-table.

 

Amkar Perm: Points without Goals
+4=5-6, 17 points, goals 8-10
First halves: +4=8-3, 20 points, goals 4-3
Second halves: +3=7-5, 16 points, goals 4-7
After 75 minutes: +3=5-7, 14 points, goals 4-9

Amkar’s first-half results look a lot like a math problem for elementary school. 4 wins and 4 goals scored, 3 losses and 3 goals conceded: how can that be? Yes, you’re right: Amkar 4 times led 1-0 at half-time, 3 times trailed 0-1, and 8 first halves ended 0-0. This allowed them to get a 7th place in the first-half crosstable, only 2 points behind Zenit.

In the first half-hour of the second half, the Perm team didn’t score at all, but conceded six goals. Even good – well, by Amkar standards – ending scoring (4 goals scored after 75th minute – as many as in all first halves) didn’t help Gadzhiev’s team too much: compared to the first-half results, Amkar lost three points (although, to be fair, they did gain three points compared to the 75th-minute scorelines).

 

Tosno and Dinamo: Almost Like Twin Brothers

FC Tosno: +4=5-6, 17 points, goals 13-16
First halves: +2=7-6, 13 points, goals 3-8
Second halves: +5=6-4, 21 points, goals 10-8
After 75 minutes: +3=5-7, 14 points, goals 8-16

Dinamo Moscow: +3=5-7, 14 points, goals 11-15
First halves: +2=6-7, 12 points, goals 3-10
Second halves: +5=6-4, 21 points, goals 8-5
After 75 minutes: +3=5-7, 14 points, goals 7-12

Two FNL teams automatically promoted get very similar results this season. They’re both very bad before half-time, then they both recover in the second. They have even both managed an epic comeback from 0-2 against Spartak. The difference between them lies in the last 15 minutes: Dmytro Parfyonov’s team look much more confident, scoring five goals and being the only ones not to concede in that time.

 

Anzhi and SKA: Relegation Candidates

Anzhi Makhachkala: +3=4-8, 13 points, goals 16-32
First halves: +4=5-6, 17 points, goals 7-11
Second halves: +2=4-9, 10 points, goals 9-21
After 75 minutes: +3=4-8, 13 points, goals 11-23

SKA Khabarovsk: +2=6-7, 12 points, goals 11-22
First halves: +2=8-5, 14 points, goals 4-8
Second halves: +2=6-7, 12 points, goals 7-14
After 75 minutes: +2=6-7, 12 points, goals 8-14

Anzhi are somewhat better in the first halves (a respectful 9th place in the crosstable – probably the only good thing we can say about the overall results of those two teams), SKA are marginally better in the second, but this “better” is still not far from the last place. Anzhi are absolutely the worst team in the second half: only 10 points and 21 goals conceded, 12 of which were scored between 46th and 75th minutes.

 

The Crosstables

Author: Alexey Spektrowski

I’m a Spartak Moscow fan who dabbles in Soviet/Russian football history (mostly numerical and statistical). Contributed some data to the Spartak Moscow museum at Otkrytie Arena.

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