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 Lokomotiv. Inspired by Jefferson Fárfan, the Peruvian now has eleven goals and six assists in his last twelve games for club and country, as well as travelling 30,000km in the meantime to take part in Peru’s World Cup Qualifiers against New Zealand. He has been the star for Loko this season, who go into the Winter Break dominating the league.

Spartak defeated huge Eastern Moscow rivals CSKA in the Main Moscow Derby, thrashing the Army Men 3-0 at the Otkrytie. Quincy Promes scored twice, bringing his own impressive totals to fifteen goals and eight assists in 25 games this season. As such, expect to see a few faces in our Week 20 TOTW.

Elsewhere, Krasnodar continued a rich run of form with a 3-1 away victory over relegation-threatened Amkar Perm, while Ural and Arsenal played out a typical mid-table draw and Akhmat continue to be Zenit’s bogey team, as Aleksandr Kokorin missed a glorious chance in a 0-0 draw.

Despite the huge wins at the top of the league, the most important results of the weekend arguably came at the bottom of the table, as Rubin Kazan pulled off a much-needed win over SKA, including three goals. A huge boost considering their struggles in front of goal.

Dinamo Moscow likewise gained three points in a vital relegation battle, defeating Anzhi 2-0 at the Arena Khimki. Although survival is paramount for most sides (except maybe SKA) in the relegation race, Dinamo truly need to ensure they remain in the RFPL in order to move on from their financial troubles. The club are still in debt, have high earners such as Pavel Pogrebnyak in the side and are still paying for their soon to be completed new stadium. However, six points in key games against Rostov and Aznhi have catapulted the side right out of the relegation playoff places, as they are joint fifth on the form table alongside Akhmat and Zenit.

Here are the results and  TOTW for Week 20 of the Premier League.

 

Results

Ural Ekaterinburg 1 – 1 Arsenal Tula

Dinamo Moscow 2 – 0 Anzhi Makhachkala

Rubin Kazan 3 – 1 SKA Khabarovsk

Amkar Perm 1 – 3 FC Krasnodar

Spartak Moscow 3 – 0 CSKA Moscow

FC Rostov 1 – 0 FC Ufa

Akhmat Grozny 0 – 0 Zenit St. Petersburg

FC Tosno 1 – 3 Lokomotiv Moscow

 

Statistics

  • Amkar have scored the fewest goals per game in the Premier League this season, with 0.6.
  • Anzhi Makhachkala have made the most tackles per game in the Premier League this season, with 19.55.
  • Quincy Promes has made the most accurate through balls in the Premier League this season, with 7.
  • There are actually five players atop of the assists tables, with 6 each; Quincy Promes, Luiz Adriano, Viktor Claesson, Mauricio Pereyra and Alan Dzagoev.
  • Rade Dugalic has made the most interceptions in the Premier League this season, with 58.
  • Emmanuel Mammana has the highest passing percentage of any player to have played at least ten games or more, with 89.
  • Eric Bicfalvi has been fouled more often per game than any other player, with 4.3. Ural teammate, Giorgi Chanturia, is second in the league with 3.
  • There remain just four outfield ever-presents in the league this season; Igor Denisov, Saba Kverkvelia, Denys Kulakov and Domenico Criscito.
  • This is the first time Lokomotiv have the lead at the Winter Break for 12 years.

 

Goalkeeper – (1) Andrei Sinitsin, FC Krasnodar

The Krasnodar keeper has spent most of his last five years as backup at the Bulls, however, with Stanislav Kristyuk’s injury at the start f the season, the 29-year-old has established himself as number one, and deservedly so. At the weekend, Sinitsin made more saves than any other keeper in the league with six and was largely responsible for Krasnodar’s tight defence in the absence of Andreas Granqvist.

Defender – (2) Moritz Bauer, Rubin Kazan

The Swiss defender is able to speak five languages, is a certified pilot, can play the piano and regularly gives lectures on Swiss history and culture in Kazan, however it is on the pitch in which he really stars. He was excellent at the weekend for Rubin, providing a key attacking outlet and pinning SKA in their own 18-yard box for much of the match.

Defender – (1) Sverrir Ingi Ingason, FC Rostov

Rostov, after a surprise start, are struggling. Leonid Kuchuk has resigned and the goals are fast drying up, however, the Icelandic defender is the main reason why they have such a steely defence. In the Selmashi’s impressive 1-0 victory over Ufa, he scored the winning goal and completed ten clearances, one interception and two tackles.

Defender – (2)  Toni Šunjić, Dinamo Moscow

Dinamo may not score very many goals, but they don’t concede often either. Fourteen of their twenty games so far this season have contained under 2.5 goals, and Šunjić is one of the reasons why. His settled partnership with Grigori Morozov on one side and Sebastian Holmén on the other has borne fruitful, with Dinamo conceding three or more on just two occasions this season. The Bosnian is dominant in the air and a smart defender, completing thirteen clearances, five interceptions and six out of eight aerial duels against Anzhi.

Defender – (1) Roman Zobnin, Spartak Moscow

After almost five months out with an ACL injury, Roman Zobnin finally made his first start midweek against Liverpool, in an unfortunate 7-0 thrashing. However, at the weekend in the Moscow Derby, he featured at left back for Massimo Carrera’s side and was excellent. Later on he also played on the right-wing and in central midfield, testament to his dynamism and versatility.

Midfielder – (3) Viktor Claesson, FC Krasnodar

The Swedish winger is in brilliant form for Igor Shalimov’s side, having picked up six goals and assists in the league this season. Along with Uruguayan Mauricio Pereyra, he is the chief creator for goal machine Fedor Smolov and was at it again this weekend, picking up a goal and an assist.

Midfielder – (1) Magomed Ozdoev, Rubin Kazan

Ozdoev can consider himself unlucky not to have made it onto the TOTW before, with numerous effective performances in midfield for Kurban Berdyev this season. He has been a chock star for Rubin, as many expected him to in fact be uninvolved after a disappointing loan spell to Akhmat Grozny in the second half of last season. Against SKA, he completed 61 passes (83%) including three key passes and two through balls, won five out of eight duels, made two tackles, one interception, and had two shots on target. As a result, he scored and assisted in the game in a perfect box-to-box performance.

Midfielder – (2) Aleksandr Tashaev, Dinamo Moscow

The young winger is leading Dinamo’s fight to defeat relegation after the twin long-term injuries to Panchenko and Terekhov. He scored another game-winning goal at the weekend again for the White-Blues and performed excellently at both ends of the pitch. He is a hard-working, defensively sound winger with a keen ability to track back onrushing opponents out wide, and is key to why Dinamo have such a staunch defence.

Forward – (1) Sardar Azmoun, Rubin Kazan

Before this weekend, Azmoun hadn’t scored for Rubin and had missed more “big chances” in the league than any other player. Although many seemed surprised at his lack of game time, he just simply hasn’t been able to convert chances; his biggest asset at Rostov. That changed against SKA, however, as the Iranian scored, assisted and bullied the SKA defence all game with his deceptive strength and aerial ability.

Forward – (2) Jefferson Fárfan, Lokomotiv Moscow

What a season the Peruvian has had. After coming in with a reputation as a tempestuous winger in January and fleetingly impressing from right wing-back, he is now their talisman and battering ram up top with eleven goals and six assists in his last twelve. He is a microcosm of Lokomotiv this season, as hard work, patience and most of all, time, has resulted in a core group who have flattered to deceive in the past, uniting and taking the league by storm.

Forward – (3) Quincy Promes, Spartak Moscow – Player of the Week

Are there any more superlatives even usable for Promes anymore? It doesn’t matter in what conditions, which opposition nor competition he lines up in, he is simply unstoppable. His two goals were both different but equally finished off great, counter-attacking moves with aplomb. Spartak are on the charge having won their last five and are unbeaten in their last thirteen games – since the devastating losses to Zenit, CSKA and Loko. Aside from this, Spartak are a force and will only grow as their injured players return from injury and they make reinforcements over the winter break. Promes is the tip of the spear, leading the league and Spartak with goals scored and assists made.

Author: James Nickels

Born and raised in South Shields, the direct mid-point between Sunderland and Newcastle in North-East England during an era of sustained success and European football for the Magpies, while the Black Cats floundered in the lower divisions, so naturally I decided to support Sunderland. I’ve developed an interest in Russian football over the last decade or so, but it piqued while studying for my Masters’ Degree in Russian and Soviet History, and I’ve been hooked by Spartak Moscow ever since. Considers Eduard Streltsov the best of his generation, and a fond proponent of his repatriation.

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