RFPL Week 12: Betting Advice and Previews

Locomotive standing outside Lokomotiv Stadium in Moscow. Photo: Toke Theilade/RFN

Match of the Round, Sunday 14:30 BST: Lokomotiv Moscow – Dinamo Moscow

By Toke Theilade (@TokeTheilade)

Once again, it is time for a Moscow derby. This time the game is played in Cherkizovo, where Lokomotiv are hosting Dinamo. Both teams have struggled recently, so this game is the perfect opportunity for them to bounce back.

Lokomotiv are in good form

Under the guidance of Yuri Semin, Lokomotiv have developed a lot this season. They are now picking up points they would have lost last season, which has allowed them to take advantage of the failures of the rest top teams.

Lokomotiv are currently second in the league, and they have only lost one of their last six games. Thursday, they defeated Czech side Zlin 3-0 in the Europa League, and last weekend they picked up a difficult victory away against FC Rostov.

Things aren’t looking good for Dinamo

Dinamo had high hopes when they returned to the RFPL, but things haven’t turned out well for them so far. The Muscovite side are currently residing in the relegation play-off spots, and they have gone six games without a victory.

Last weekend however, Dinamo received a small confidence boost, as they held CSKA to 0-0 at home, and picked up a point against their local big brother.

Team News

Lokomotiv remains severely limited by injuries. The Railroaders are without the normal starters; Vedran Corluka, Ari, Maciej Rybus and Jefferson Farfan, while full back Timofey Margasov is also injured.

Dinamo Moscow are without top scorer Kiril Panchenko and central defender Vladimir Rykov.

Predicted Lineups

Lokomotiv (4-2-3-1): Guilherme – V. Denisov, Kverkvelia, Pejcinovic, Ignatiev – Tarasov, I. Denisov – Fernandes, Al. Miranchuk, Kolomeitsev – Eder

Dinamo (4-4-2): Shunin – Terekhov, Sunjic, Holmén, Kozlov – Sosnin, Thiam, Sow, Temnikov – Wanderson, Beqiraj

Betting Advice: €10 on Manuel Fernandes to score anytime @4.00 at Bet365

Friday, 15:30 BST: Arsenal Tula – FC Krasnodar

By Martin Lowe (@plasticpitch)

Krasnodar missed the chance to join level at the summit of the RFPL last week with defeat to the now clear leaders Zenit and will be keen not to stretch their two defeats run into the international break.

Another in a downward run of form after a Cup exit last mid-week are hosts Arsenal Tula, who have epitomised inconsistency so far; highlighted by a defeat at home to Amkar one week, going on to draw away in Rostov and beat Dinamo Moscow the next.

Krasnodar are the favourites for this one, primed by the inform Fyodor Smolov in attack (4 goals in 5 league appearances) and will continue to feel the benefit of not being in Europe in the lead up. Yet Arsenal are notoriously stiff opposition when playing at home in Tula, already beating Spartak and Rostov this calendar year at the Arsenal Stadium, this’ll no doubt be a tight affair.

Betting Advice: €10 on under 2.5 goals @1.66 at Bet365

Saturday, 9:30 BST: SKA Khabarovsk – FC Rostov

By James Nickels (@JamesNickels)

SKA face FC Rostov on Saturday back in the automatic relegation spots, and on current form will drop back into the FNL y seasons end, something which may (will) likely please the other fifteen inhabitants of the Premier League. The Army Men now have just one win from eleven, scoring a league-wide joint lowest of five goals. Last weekend, they lost 3-0 to Amkar, and have been unable to turn strong defensive performances – especially at home – into vital victories.

Rostov themselves are in somewhat of relative freefall, after just one defeat and one draw from six, Rostov now hasn’t won in five, after two losses against CSKA and Lokomotiv respectively in their last two. Their current form is what many expected them to suffer at the beginning of the season, and possibly the loss of so many first-team stars is finally affecting the side.

SKA will be without Anton Zemlyanukhin and Aleksei Druzin, who are both injured. Rostov likewise miss two players, injury-hit Matija Boben and the suspended Artur Yusupov after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season.

Although both teams currently cannot find a win, Rostov has made some very impressive summer signings and still hold many players of quality on their side, unlike SKA. I’d expect a Rostov victory to nil.

Betting Advice: €10 on Rostov victory to nil @2.50 at Bet365

Saturday, 12:00 BST: FC Tosno – Akhmat Grozny

By Toke Theilade (@TokeTheilade)

On paper, this is a game Akhmat should win, but in reality it has the look of a close contest.

FC Tosno are coming straight off a brilliant 2-0 victory in Moscow against Lokomotiv, and they have only lost one of their last five games. In this run, they also managed a 2-2 draw against the reigning champions Spartak. They are thus slowly climbing up the league table, and they haven’t lost in their last three home matches. It looks like Tosno have finally settled at Petrovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg.

As for Akhmat, they remain without injured playmaker Oleg Ivanov. However, this hasn’t stopped them from starting an quite impressive run of results. Akhmat are undefeated in four games, and during this span of games, they have defeated both CSKA and Rubin, while drawing against Lokomotiv.

Betting Advice: €10 on Akhmat to win @2.45 at Bet365

Saturday, 14:30 BST: Rubin Kazan – Amkar Perm

By Martin Lowe (@plasticpitch)

If this match was being played just over a month ago, there would have only been one winner, but the resulting run of form across September has narrowed the gap domestically down to a mere 3 points in mid-table.

Rubin are working tirelessly to live up to their grave underachiever tag of last season, losing their last three domestically without scoring a goal. Despite being blessed with a number of promising attacking talents, no player has scored more than two domestically.

Amkar had previously been in the same boat in an attacking sense, but have seen a boost in form of late which has seen them only drop to defeat once in their last 5 (against CSKA Moscow no less). To their credit, Amkar on the whole have impressed more than their results have suggested in a defensive sense, but have often failed to put away the chances. Scoring seven in their last two matches in all competitions will definitely add some fire as they travel to Kazan.

Betting Advice: €10 on both teams to score @2.50 at Bet365

Saturday, 17:00 BST: Spartak Moscow – FC Ural Ekaterinburg

By James Nickels (@JamesNickels)

Spartak Moscow faces off against Ural this weekend at the Otkrytiye after an impressive midweek result against Liverpool in the Champions League, holding off the Englishmen to a respectable 1-1 draw. However, it was another performance in which Massimo Carrera’s men simply flattered to deceive, even without top scorer Quincy Promes and Captain Denis Glushakov.

Ural, on the other hand, come into the game without a match midweek and in good form, the polar opposite to Spartak. After only losing once this season, Aleksandr Tarkhanov’s men have finally converted their numerous draws into victories recently, defeating Rubin 1-0 in Kazan then last week beating Tosno 3-1 in Ekaterinburg.

Spartak will likely be without Denis Glushakov, Ze Luis, Dmitry Kombarov and Jano Ananidze, who all missed out on the midweek draw in Europe. Roman Zobnin, Artyom Timofeev and Georgi Tigiev are all long-term absentees with respective ACL injuries. Quincy Promes is doubtful for the game and faces a late fitness test, but even then may miss out in preparation for the next spate of important games coming up.

Ural will not be able to call upon the services of captain Artyom Fidler, who’s injury-strewn 2017 only worsens. Vladimir Khozen is also out of the match, while Aleksandr Dantsev, arguably the slowest player in the RFPL bar fellow left-back Vitaly Denisov, is a doubt.

This game is very hard to predict, Spartak have the clear advantage in quality but Ural is now hitting real form and look very impressive under Tarkhanov. As a result, I predict a hard fought draw, with both teams picking up the most in the league thus far with five and seen respectively, five of which for Ural have all been 1-1.

Betting Advice: €10 on 1-1 correct score @8.00 at Bet365

Sunday, 12:00 BST: CSKA Moscow – FC Ufa

By Toke Theilade (@TokeTheilade)

On Wednesday, CSKA lost 4-1 at home to Manchester United in the Champions League, and they were thus unable to follow up on their fantastic 2-1 victory in Lisbon against SL Benfica in the opening match. The defeat to United most likely affected CSKA’s morale, but they are still firm favourites at home, where they are usually strong. To CSKA’s advantage speaks that midfielder Aleksandr Golovin returns from suspension.

After seven games without a victory, Ufa finally broke the evil spell last weekend, when they defeated Arsenal Tula 1-0 at home. However, the fact remains that Ufa have been a disappointment this season, and head coach Sergey Semak will need to improve the results quickly for them to avoid battling relegation.

Betting Advice: €10 CSKA to lead at half time and win the game @1.83 at Bet365

Sunday, 17:00 BST: Anzhi Makhachkala – Zenit St. Petersburg

By Toke Theilade (@TokeTheilade)

Anzhi are currently last in the RFPL, while Zenit the top dog. It is therefore a game with a clear favourite.

Anzhi have been a massive disappointment this season, where they have so far only won two games. Last week however, they got a great point away against Spartak Moscow, but generally, Anzhi have been quite awful this season. For this game, they are even without Juan Lescano, Arsen Khubulov and Magomed Musalov, who are all injured.

As for Zenit, they are coming off an incredible 3-1 victory at home against Real Sociedad in the Europa League. Due to the tough European schedule, the Zenit players might be tired at the moment, but they have a national team break coming up, which allows the players to relax a bit afterwards. Furthermore, Zenit have Aleksandr Kokorin, who is in fantastic form at the moment. This season, he has scored 11 goals in 13 games in all tournaments, and he scored twice against Sociedad.

Betting Advice: €10 on Aleksandr Kokorin to score anytime @2.00 at Bet365


RFN Total: +€399.34

Vincent Tanguy: +€119.65 (hit rate: 13/35, 37%)

David Sansun: +€100.45 (hit rate: 19/52, 36%)

Thomas Giles: +€97.6 (hit rate 22/41, 53%)

Jack Beresford: +€75.7 (hit rate 4/9, 44%) 

James Nickels: +€54.5 (hit rate: 12/24, 50%) 

Ben Clark: +€41 (hit rate: 12/38, 32%)

Andrew Flint: +€38.9 (hit rate: 18/60, 30%)

Artëm Markarevitch: +€36.9 (hit rate: 7/18, 38%)

Lukas Müller: +€27.75 (hit rate: 5/15, 33%)

Will Baumgardner +€26.8 (hit rate: 2/2, 100%)

Stefano Conforti: +€0.5  (hit rate: 3/9, 33%)

Toke Theilade: -€2.11 (hit rate: 12/34, 35%)

Danny Armstrong: -€8 (hit rate: 2/6, 33%)

Martin Lowe: -€61 (hit rate: 4/14, 29%)

Ilya Sokolov: -€113.9 (hit rate: 13/46, 28%)

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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