Season Preview: FC Ufa

Last season, FC Ufa achieved the highest league finish in the club’s history, as they surprised everyone to finish 7th place. A club with modest resources and a small squad, excellent management from two top young coaches, Viktor Goncharenko and Sergey Semak was key to their achievement. Operating with a 5-3-2 or 5-4-1, they were often a thorn in the side of the larger teams, using their excellent defensive co-oridination and lightning quick counter attacks, spearheaded by Kehinde Fatai, to … [Read more...]

Sergey Semak and the Bashkortostan Challenge

Going into the winter break in 8th place in the RFPL, just three points behind Terek Grozny in 4th, FC Ufa could be very satisfied with the first half of the season. The team from Bashkortostan managed to defeat both Spartak and Lokomotiv in Moscow, while also holding Zenit St. Petersburg to a 0-0 draw at the beginning of the season, and they are no longer the pushovers we have seen in the previous two seasons, where they finished just above the relegation line. A fact that becomes even more … [Read more...]

Ones To Watch – Igor Bezdenezhnykh

Biography Name: Igor Bezdenezhnykh DOB/Age: 08/08/1996 – 20 years old Club: FC Ufa Position: Central midfield Nationality: Russia Career so far Igor Bezdenezhnykh has spent his entire career in his home city of Ufa, graduating through several youth teams before joining his cities biggest club, FC Ufa. As a 17 year old, Bezdenezhnykh made Ufa’s match day squad numerous times in their promotion season from the FNL, although he failed to make an appearance. His reward for impressive … [Read more...]

Chisamba Lungu Player Watch

Ural have seen some of their key creative talents leave the club over the last few weeks, but it seems the answer has been with them all along. Key to their comfortable 2-0 win over Ufa today was the transformation of Zambian flier Chisamba Lungu, who for the vast majority of his six-year career in Russia has been deployed as an out and out winger, but today was given a free role by head coach Vadim Skripchenko. Ufa head coach Viktor Goncharenko cut a forlorn figure on the touchline, … [Read more...]

Three Rounds Left – The fight to escape the RFPL drop

With three matches left to play, tension at the wrong end of the Russian Premier League has reached breaking point. If no team’s fate is sealed this mid-week, this coming weekend promises to be the most nerve wrenching affair with the bottom six all due to play one another. Five seasons back when the league underwent their restructuring to fall into line with the European season schedule (Autumn-Spring), the relegation playoffs were introduced to add an extra dimension to the domestic end of … [Read more...]

Oleksandr Zinchenko – Guardiola’s First Man City Signing?

As Konstantin Evgrafov wrote on Russian Football News in February, you rarely see players from small Russian clubs exchange the RFPL for fashionable destinations in Europe, but that could change soon, as Ufa’s 19-year-old midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko is linked with several major European clubs after an impressive season in Ufa’s red and white kit. The Ukrainian midfielder is a product of Shakhtar Donetsk’s youth academy, but joined Ufa on a free transfer in February last year. However, as … [Read more...]

Oleksandr Zinchenko: An Analysis from Ural v Ufa

At the precocious age of 19  Oleksandr Zinchenko is one of the most talented assets of the Russian Premier League, and it seems increasingly likely that his career at Ufa will not last beyond this summer. His departure would be a virtual certainty if the league's youngest club end up relegated, and with only eight games left to lift themselves out of the drop zone time is not on their side. If he were to depart, there is a strong likelihood he would consider moving away from Russia after he was … [Read more...]

Ukraine Criticized for Not Selecting Russian Based Players

It is a widely held opinion that sport and politics should not mix, however, it seems that exactly that has happened within the Ukrainian national team this week. Two Ukrainian players based in Russia, who it was expected would be part of the senior and U21 squad respectively, have been left out. Yevhen Seleznyov, who has 48 caps for his country, moved from last year’s Europa League runners up Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in Ukraine to Kuban Krasnodar in Russia during the winter break. Having … [Read more...]

Season Preview: FC Ufa

Intro: Ufa are heading into this season off the back of a relatively successful debut in the Premier League last year. With former Russia national team striker Igor Kolyvanov as their manager they achieved a 12th place finish, staving off the relegation places and ensuring they stayed up automatically after grabbing 12 points from the last possible 21 games, with wins against Lokomotiv & Spartak Moscow and draws against Rubin and Zenit highlights. Despite hold ups and issues with their new … [Read more...]

The RPL Relegation Race

This season's race to escape relegation is closer than ever - a one point gap separates each team from the other. As it stands, all of the teams in the bottom four can escape the route to the FNL. Each team has three games remaining, a possible nine points and the chance to either leave the relegation zone or get a second shot at the Premier League via the relegation play-offs. Torpedo Moscow Torpedo have been on a one-way road to the FNL. Adding a new manager and a few experienced players … [Read more...]