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Russian football : Russian Premier League 2017/2018 season preview

Spartak Moscow end 16-year wait for Russian title

Spartak Moscow have been crowned champions of the Russian Premier League for the first time since 2001 with three games to spare last season. Spartak Moscow dominated Russian football in the 1990s after the end of the Soviet Union, winning a total of nine titles between 1992 and 2001. But since then it has struggled, with Gazprom-backed Zenit St. Petersburg and city rivals CSKA dominating the league in the last 10 years, though Rubin Kazan won back-to-back titles in 2008 and 2009. Winning the league means that Spartak is guaranteed a place in the Champions League group stages for the first time since 2010.

  • Champions: Spartak Moscow (Champions League group stage)
  • Runners-up: CSKA Moscow (Champions League QR3)
  • Third place: Zenit St. Petersburg (Europe League QR3)
  • Fourth place: Krasnodar (Europe League QR3)
  • Cup winners: Lokomotiv Moscow (Europa League group stage)
  • Relegated: Orenburg, Krylya, Tom Tomsk
  • Promoted: Dynamo Moscow, SKA Khabarovsk, Tosno.
teamtitles12/1313/1414/1515/1616/17
Spartak M.1046651
CSKA611212
Zenit422133
Rubin Kazan2695109
Lokomotiv M.293768
Amkar Perm-1110111110
Rostov-1371426
Akhmat Grozny-812975
Krasnodar-105344
Anzhi-316-1312
Ural--1113811
Ufa---12127
Arsenal Tula---16-14
Dynamo Moscow-74415-
SKA Khabarovsk------
Tosno------

The number of titles (since 1992) for each club in Russian Premier League and their standings in the last five seasons.

Mancini named as new Zenit St Petersburg boss

Zenit St Petersburg have appointed Roberto Mancini as their new manager after failing to qualify for the Champions League for the second year in a row. The 52-year-old Italian has agreed a three-year contract with the club, who finished third in the Russian Premier League last term. According to some media reports, Mancini would be making €4.5m a year. He won Serie A three times with Inter Milan and the Premier League with Manchester City. Mancini is one of the highest-profile foreign coaches to join the Russian Premier League in recent years. Zenit, who are bankrolled by the Russian energy giant Gazprom, have used their deep pockets to attract expensive foreign managers in the past, including Dick Advocaat, Luciano Spalletti and Andre Villas-Boas.

This page is introduction to the 2017/18 Russian Premier League season. Latest news, statistics, results and predictions you can find on our main Euro Football > Russia page.

Akhmat Grozny appoint Kononov

Akhmat Grozny have announced the appointment of Oleg Kononov as their new coach. The 51-year-old Belarussian resigned from his Krasnodar position on in September 2016. He previously led Krasnodar, Moldavian Sheriff, Ukrainian Carpathians and Sevastopol. Kononov has signed a three-year contract with the club from the Chechen Republic. Akhmat Grozny finished fifth last season, the best result ever by the Chechen side, who have played in the Russian Football Premier League since 2008. In June 2017, the team was renamed from Terek to Akhmat in honour of the father of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

#teampointsg.dif.win-draw-loss
1Spartak M691922-3-5 (30)
2CSKA623218-8-4 (30)
3Zenit613118-7-5 (30)
4Krasnodar491812-13-5 (30)
5Terek48314-6-10 (30)
6Rostov481813-9-8 (30)
7Ufa43-312-7-11 (30)
8Lokomotiv421210-12-8 (30)
9Rubin38-410-8-12 (30)
10Amkar35-48-11-11 (30)
11Ural30-208-6-16 (30)
12Anzhi30-147-9-14 (30)
13Orenburg30-117-9-14 (30)
14Tula28-227-7-16 (30)
15Krylya28-86-10-14 (30)
16Tomsk14-473-5-22 (30)

The Russian Premier League standings for season 2016/17.

Bozovic to coach side Arsenal Tula

Former Red Star Belgrade coach Miodrag Bozovic has joined Arsenal Tula. The 48-year-old, who was sacked by Red Star in May, has already worked with a number of Russian clubs including Dynamo Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow. With Rostov, he won the Russian Cup in 2014. Arsenal Tula finished 14th in the 16-team Russian Premier League last season and avoided relegation by winning a playoff against a side from the division below. Bozovic takes over from former Russia striker Sergei Kiryakov.

Other coaching changes

Coach Leonid Kuchuk has signed a one-year contract with Rostov. The 57-year-old Belarusian left Ukrainian side Steel to replace Ivan Daniliants, who retired. In 2010 Kuchuk worked with Belgorod Salute, in 2013 and in 2014-15 he has coached Kuban Krasnodar, and in 2013/14 was the coach of Locomotiv Moscow.Rubin Kazan have named Kurban Berdyev for his second stint as head coach after they finished ninth in the league last season. The 64-year-old manager coached them from 2001 to 2013 and led them to two Russian Premier League titles. Berdyev has also coached Rostov, helping the team finish second in the 2015/16 season.

teamoddsteamodds
Zenit St Petersburg2.25Akhmat Grozny251
Spartak Moscow3Ufa501
CSKA Moscow4.25Anzhi1001
Krasnodar31Ural1001
FK Rostov36Amkar1001
Lokomotiv Moscow36Arsenal Tula2501
Rubin Kazan41SKA Khabarovsk3001
Dynamo Moscow201Tosno3001

The preseason odds for the outright winner of the 2017/18 Russian Premier League posted by online bookmakers.

Russian Cup finals in last five years

2017   Lokomotiv Moscow - Ural   2:0
2016   Zenit St Petersburg - CSKA Moscow   4:1
2015   Lokomotiv Moscow - Kuban Krasnodar   3:1
2014   Rostov - Krasnodar   0:0   (6:5 on penalties)
2013   CSKA Moscow - Anzhi Makhachkala   1:1   (4:3 on penalties)

Key players
(transfer market value in m€)

Akhmat Grozny

Goalkeeper Evgeni Gorodov (1.2); Defense: Andrey Semenov (3.5), Rizvan Utsiev (3), Milad Mohammadi (2), Wilker Angel (1.8); Midfield: Oleg Ivanov (3), Ravanelli (0.8), Anton Shvets (0.2); Forward: Bekim Balaj (3), Gabriel Torje (2.5), Bernard Berisha (2).

Amkar Perm

Goalkeeper Artur Nigmatullin (0.6); Defense: Nikolay Zajtsev (1.8), Brian Idowu (1.2), Mikhail Sivakov (0.9), Petar Zanev (0.8); Midfield: Janusz Gol (1.8), Fegor Ogude (0.8), Pavel Komolov (0.8), Sergey Balanovich (0.8); Forward: Darko Bodul (0.7), Aleksey Gasilin (0.5).

Anzhi Makhachkala

Goalkeeper Aleksey Solosin (0.3); Defense: Magomed Musalov (1), Vladimir Poluyakhtov (0.9), Oleg Danchenko (0.8), Sergey Bryzgalov (0.7); Midfield: Vadim Afonin (0.8), Igor Chaykovsky (0.8), Jaba Lipartia (0.7), Shamil Gasanov (0.6); Forward: Arsen Khubulov (1.8), Pavel Yakovlev (0.8).

Arsenal Tula

Goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov (1); Defense: Maksim Belyaev (1.5), Stoppila Sunzu (1.3), Ivan Ivanov (0.5); Midfield: Sergey Tkachev (2), Ilia Maksimov (1), Kantemir Berkhamov (0.7), Kirill Kombarov (0.7), Felicio Brown Forbes (0.6); Forward: Federico Rasic (1.2), Igor Shevchenko (0.2).

CSKA Moscow

Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev (12); Defense: Mario Fernandes (16), Georgi Schennikov (3), Viktor Vasin (2); Midfield: Alan Dzagoev (13), Pontus Wernbloom (8), Bibras Natcho (6), Aleksandr Golovin (5), Georgi Milanov (3); Forward: Vitinho (5), Fedor Chalov (1.2).

Dinamo Moscow

Goalkeeper Anton Shunin (0.8); Defense: Grigori Morozov (1.5), Aleksey Kozlov (1.2), Vladimir Rykov (1); Midfield: Aleksandr Sapeta (2.5), Aleksandr Zotov (1), Samba Sow (1), Aleksandr Tashaev (1); Forward: Aleksey Ionov (2.5), Kirill Panchenko (2), Wanderson (1.7).

Krasnodar

Goalkeeper Stanislav Kritsyuk (5); Defense: Andreas Granqvist (5), Naldo (4), Sergey Petrov (2.8); Midfield: Charles Kabore (7), Pavel Mamaev (7), Yuri Gazinskiy (4.5), Mauricio Pereyra (3.5), Viktor Claesson (3); Forward: Fedor Smolov (12), Joaozinho (4).

Lokomotiv Moscow

Goalkeeper Guilherme (4); Defense: Vedran Corluka (5), Vitali Denisov (5), Solomon Kvirkvelia (3.5); Midfield: Aleksey Miranchuk (6.5), Manuel Fernandes (3.5), Igor Denisov (2.5), Dmitri Tarasov (2.5), Aleksandr Kolomeytsev (2.5); Forward: Ari (3), Vladislav Ignatjev (2.5).

Rostov

Goalkeeper Sergey Pesjakov (0.7); Defense: Miha Mevlja (4), Sergey Parshivlyuk (1.3), Sverrir Ingi Ingason (1.2); Midfield: Pavel Mogilevets (2.5), Artur Yusupov (2), Andrei Prepelita (1.2), Saeid Ezatolahi (1.2), Alexandru Gatcan (1); Forward: Sardar Azmoun (11), Aleksandr Zuev (1).

Rubin Kazan

Goalkeeper Soslan Dzhanaev (2.5); Defense: Elmir Nabiullin (4), Fedor Kudryashov (3.5), Carlos Zambrano (3), Ruslan Kambolov (2.8); Midfield: Yann M'Vila (7.5), Alex Song (3), Mijo Caktas (3); Forward: Jonathas (7), Maxime Lestienne (4), Maksim Kanunnikov (4).

SKA Khabarovsk

Goalkeeper Aleksandr Dovbnya (0.3); Defense: Maksim Tishkin (0.5), Aleksandr Putsko (0.4), Aleksandr Cherevko (0.4); Midfield: Vitali Fedotov (0.8), Denys Dedechko (0.5), Aleksey Druzin (0.5), Aleksandr Dimidko (0.4); Forward: Konstantin Savichev (0.6), Ruslan Koryan (0.4), Juan Lescano (0.4).

Spartak Moscow

Goalkeeper Aleksandr Selikhov (3.5); Defense: Giorgi Jikia (3.5), Salvatore Bocchetti (3), Ilya Kutepov (3); Midfield: Fernando (14), Denis Glushakov (7), Roman Zobnin (6), Ivelin Popov (5); Forward: Quincy Promes (20), Ze Luis (5), Luiz Adriano (4.5).

Tosno

Goalkeeper David Yurchenko (1.5); Defense: Vitali Shakhov (0.7), Rade Dugalic (0.6), Andrey Buyvolov (0.5), Ruslan Abazov (0.5); Midfield: Nuno Rocha (1), Georgi Melkadze (0.9), Anderson Carvalho (0.8), Maksim Palienko (0.6); Forward: Anton Zabolotnyi (0.6), Ante Vukusic (0.5).

Ufa

Goalkeeper Aleksandr Belenov (6); Defense: Aleksey Nikitin (0.9), Catalin Carp (0.7), Bojan Jokic (0.7); Midfield: Dmitri Stotskiy (2), Ivan Oblyakov (1.2), Igor Bezdenezhnykh (1), Ivan Paurevic (0.9), Ondrej Vanek (0.8); Forward: Kehinde Fatai (1.5), Sly (1.2).

Ural

Goalkeeper Nikolay Zabolotnyi (0.8); Defense: Vladimir Khozin (1), Gregor Balazic (0.9), Dominik Dinga (0.8); Midfield: Roman Emeljanov (3.5), Denys Kulakov (1.2), Eric Bicfalvi (1.2), Dmitri Korobov (0.7); Forward: Chisamba Lungu (2.5), Igor Portnyagin (1), Edgar Manucharyan (0.8).

Zenit St. Petersburg

Goalkeeper Andrey Lunev (3.5); Defense: Igor Smolnikov (7), Branislav Ivanovic (5), Domenico Criscito (5); Midfield: Leandro Paredes (13), Oleg Shatov (10), Giuliano (9), Javi Garcia (7); Forward: Artem Dzyuba (9), Sebastian Driussi (8), Dmitri Poloz (7).

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