Europa League Preview: Zenit Saint Petersburg – FC Utrecht

First Playoff Round, Second Leg: Can Mancini's Stars Overturn the Deficit? Zenit will go into the Second Leg of their Europa League tie with Utrecht trailing, after a disappointing performance last week in Holland. Zakaria Labyad's second half header was well deserved for the home side, who troubled Zenit throughout. If Zenit does lose the tie, it will be a disaster for the Saint Petersburg side, after spending €81.3 on transfers thus far this window, including the signing of Emiliano Rigoni, … [Read more...]

Russian Transfers – Homeward Bound

Each year we read the same nonsense with Russian transfers. XXXX is on the way to an English or German club. It's a done deal. It's in the final stages. A month ago CSKA Moscow's Golovin was about to join Arsenal. That was June 10th. Three days later the same news outlet reported Arsenal's Russian scout, Pavel Kucherov, said He is not talented enough for the European level and it’s unrealistic to discuss his transfer to a top Premier League club. Fanboys and journos went into overdrive with a … [Read more...]

The 70 Best-Paid Players in Russia, and What They Tell Us About the League

Every year the Russian sports site publishes a list of the best-paid players from the Russian Premier League, and this year was no exception. The numbers on the list includes bonuses and sign-on-fees, which are split into the amount of years the contract runs. For example, Artyom Dzyuba earns €3 million euros annually for Zenit on a five-year contract, but when he signed, he received a sign-on-fee of €3 million, which split into his five-year contract gives him an annual wage on €3.6 … [Read more...]

Round Table: Dinamo’s Right Backs, AVB, Kokorin and Bozovic

Our panel consists of: Saul Pope (@SaulPope): Writer for WhenSaturdayComes and owner of Aleks V (@AleksVee): Founder of Goalchatter and writer at RussianFootballNews Joel Amorim (@Vostok1981): Founder of TheOldNumber10, Writer for RussianFootballNews, BettingAdda,Futnsoccer and The Secret Footballer Andrew Flint (@AndrewMijFlint): Writer for TheseFootballTimes, RussianFootballNews Toke Theilade (@TokeTheilade): Chief Editor … [Read more...]

Top of the Table Showdown at the Petrovsky: Zenit vs. Dynamo

In terms of star power and table implications, the weekend’s Zenit - Dynamo clash in St. Petersburg is the RPL’s biggest yet of the season. The showdown between Zenit St. Petersburg and Dynamo Moscow is not only a match between number one and two in the Russian Premier League, it is also a match between two of the deepest-pocketed Russian clubs. Both squads have plenty of foreign talent with exciting players like Ezequiel Garay, Axel Witsel and Hulk for Zenit and Christopher Samba, Alexander … [Read more...]

Goals Galore in RPL Kick-Off

The opening weekend to the Russian Premier League has set up the entire season and led Russian football fans to believe that this could be the most exciting and thrilling season to date. There's no denying the title race was wide open before the start of the season with four different sides being pumped up to win the league from the very beginning, and after this weekend's football, it's obvious the season will not disappoint the fans. Rubin - Spartak The eagerly anticipated return of … [Read more...]

Brazil 2014: Who’s In and Out for Russia

Checked In, Seat on the Plane! Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev, CSKA Moscow The undisputed starter for the national team. It’s hard to see anyone instead of the Army's captain between the sticks. Kept on the bench in favor of the more experienced Malafeev in Russia's previous big tournament, Akinfeev will be keen to lead the nation again. Central Defender Sergei Ignashevich, CSKA Moscow A mainstay in the nation's lineup, he is one of a few who has experience at the World Cup level. … [Read more...]

16 Stars Who Took Russia to the World Cup

The list itself comes from an October 16 photo feature on, while I did the write-ups. 1) Igor Akinfeev, Goalkeeper Overlooked by Dick Advocaat at Euro 2012' in favor of Vyacheslav Malafeev, the CSKA captain started every single qualifying game under Fabio Capello. He only conceded five goals during the campaign and broke the record for the longest clean sheet kept by a Russian goalkeeper in competitive matches. 2) Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Forward Zenit's Kerzhakov is always … [Read more...]

Ticket to Brazil Nearly Punched

Rui Patricio held his head when the final whistle was blown at the Estadio do Dragao last Friday. His mistake, a poor low pass within reach of Eden Ben Basat, cost Portugal two points, which almost certainly sends the happy Russians to next year's carnival in Brazil. Russia's rampant win that same night, 4-0 away to Luxembourg, coupled with Portugal's draw, means they need just a single point in Baku on Tuesday. Capello's men lead the group by three points and are +7 in goal differential … [Read more...]

Preview: Derby Weekend in Moscow

What a weekend it promises to be in the Russian capital. This spectacular weekend of big matches across Europe kicks off with a huge match between Dynamo and Lokomotiv tomorrow afternoon. Sunday brings about the most eagerly anticipated fixture on the Russian calendar- Spartak v CSKA.  Dynamo v Lokomotiv  Dynamo will be delighted with their business this transfer window, with many good players joining (some rejoining) to help Dan Petrescu's side challenge towards the top of the table. … [Read more...]