Europa League Preview: Zenit St. Petersburg – Celtic

Zenit St. Petersburg were in a similar situation exactly one year ago, when they lost the first leg of the Europa League round of 32 away to Anderlecht after a terrible performance. Different manager, different players, but the same problem this season: the winter break. Zenit left Glasgow one goal down in the tie after a performance that needs plenty of improvement for the blue-white-sky blues to progress further in the Europa League competition this season. For Zenit, a club who brands … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: Celtic – Zenit St. Petersburg

Celtic FC v FC Zenit St. Petersburg – Thursday, 15 February, 20:05 GMT – Celtic Park, Glasgow. After their long winter break, Zenit St. Petersburg return to the action as they take on Celtic in the Europa League. Whilst not the easiest draw for Zenit, Celtic represent a very winnable game for the blue-white-sky blues. Zenit's Europa League campaign has so far been mainly positive. Of course there have been the odd few hiccups such as a tight two legged aggregate victory in the Europa League … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

Round Table: Evaluating Roberto Mancini’s Start at Zenit

Roberto Mancini has almost finished his first half season in charge of Zenit St. Petersburg. The Blue-White-Sky Blues started the season brilliantly, but have struggled in recent weeks and fallen far behind league leaders Lokomotiv Moscow. Zenit have in fact performed slightly worse this season than last season, which saw Mircea Lucescu sacked. Therefore, it is time to evaluate Mancini's start and to do so we made a panel with three of RFN's Zenit experts. The panel consists of:  Neil … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: Real Sociedad – Zenit St. Petersburg

Real Sociedad v Zenit St. Petersburg - Thursday, 7 December 20:05 GMT - Estadio de Anoeta, San Sebastián. Zenit St. Petersburg have already qualified for the Europa League knockout stages, joining both Spartak and CSKA in the next round. However, they now must travel to Spain in a direct shootout with Real Sociedad for first place. This is the most straight-forward of all games involving Russian sides in terms of permutations; Zenit simply must not lose in order to be seeded for the knockout … [Read more...]

Bobby Dazzled – Problems in Piter

For Zenit St Petersburg, 2017/18 was supposed to represent a glorious return to the summit of Russian football and in the UEFA Europa League reaching at least the semi-finals or matching the achievements of Zenit's glorious vintage of 2007-08 when they won the competition defeating the likes of Bayern Munich en route. READ MORE: 2007 - Zenit St. Petersburg’s Wonder Year Roberto Mancini had been hired as coach, a previous winner of Italian Serie A and English Premier League championships … [Read more...]

Russian Clubs’ European Permutations

It's been a great European season for the Russian clubs so far. Four out of the five participants, with the exception being FC Krasnodar, reached the group stage, where they have performed quite well, and three of them have already secured Europa League knockout spots. Moreover, both Spartak Moscow and CSKA Moscow still have chances to advance to the Champions League knockout stage, though to guarantee that, they both need big wins in England. Here's a brief rundown on all the European … [Read more...]

Europa League Preview: Zenit St. Petersburg – FK Vardar Skopje

For Zenit, it is simple. They have already qualified for the group stages, however, despite an impressive 3-1 victory over Real Sociedad in the second match day, Erreala sit just a point behind Zenit with a superior goal difference. it will all come down to the final game between the two in December at the Anoeta Stadium in  San Sebastián to discover who will top the group. A difficult away game in the Basque Country, therefore a victory here will be vital. Macedonian minnows Vardar have lost … [Read more...]

Football Manager 2018 – Which Russian Club Should You Play With?

The latest edition of everyone's favourite football management game, Football Manager 2018, is now out. At RFN, we have a number of big fans of the series and will continue our tradition of producing our own custom update for the Russian leagues, hopefully out later this month. But when this update is out, who should you manage? Here at RFN we could justify managing every club in Russia in one way or another, but to keep this short, we will name just five potential challenges. Update: Our … [Read more...]

RFPL Mid-Season Review – Part Four

As we are at the halfway stage of the 2017/18 season, it is now time to look at the season so far and how it has transpired for each RFPL member club. This mid-season review will look at the pre-season expectations for each club based on their squad and summer signings, cross-referencing with last season's performance and reputation. Then deducing whether or not each club is achieving its pre-season goals so far this season, the comparative high and low points so far for each club, expectations … [Read more...]