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Russian Premier League 2020/2021 season preview Football

Zenit St Petersburg crowned 2019/20 champions

Following the titles in 2007, 2010, 2012, 2015 and 2019, Zenit St Petersburg have lifted the Russian league trophy in 2020 for the sixth time in the clubs history. They clinched the title for the second year in a row with four games to spare in a season extended because of the coronavirus pandemic. The season was suspended in mid-March and resumed June with only a limited number of spectators allowed in the stadiums.

  • Champions nad Cup winners: Zenit St. Petersburg (Champions League group stage)
  • Runners-up: Lokomotiv Moscow (Champions League group stage)
  • Third place : Krasnodar (Champions League QR3)
  • Fourth place: CSKA Moscow (Europe League group stage)
  • Fifth place: Rostov (Europa League QR3)
  • Sixth place: Dynamo Moscow (Europa League QR2)
  • Relegated: Orenburg and Krylya Sovetov
  • Promoted: Rotor and Khimki.

Orenburg and Krylya Sovetov were relegated to the Russian second division and they were replaced by Rotor and Khimki in the top-flight. Rotor Volgograd return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence, while Khimki return after an 11-year absence. The new Russian Premier League season kicks off with there having been less than three weeks since the last campaign concluded.

TeamTitles15/1616/1717/1818/1919/20
Spartak M.1051357
Zenit633511
CSKA612244
Lokomotiv M.368122
Rubin Kazan2109101110
Rostov-261195
AkhmatGrozny-759813
Krasnodar-44433
Ural-811121011
Ufa-1276149
ArsenalTula--14768
Dynamo Moscow-15-8126
Tambov-----14
Sochi-----12
Khimki------
Rotor------

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

Coaching changes

Andrey Talalaev has been appointed the new head coach of Akhmat Grozny. Talalaev has signed a three-year deal, replacing Igor Shalimov, with whom the club did not renew the contract. Meanwhile, Khimki Moscow have appointed Dmitri Gunko as their new coach. Gunko is mostly known for his work in Spartak Moscow.

This page is introduction to the 2020/21 Russian Premier League season. Latest news, statistics, results and predictions you can find on our main Euro Football > Russia page.

TeamPtsGDW-D-L
1Zenit724722-6-2 (30)
2Lokomotiv571216-9-5 (30)
3CSKA501414-8-8 (30)
4Krasnodar491613-10-6 (29)
5Rostov45-512-9-9 (30)
6Dynamo41-311-8-11 (30)
7Spartak M39211-6-13 (30)
8Tula38-411-5-14 (30)
9Ufa38-28-14-8 (30)
10Rubin35-108-11-11 (30)
11Sochi3378-9-11 (28)
12Ural32-208-8-13 (29)
13Grozny31-197-10-13 (30)
14Tambov28-78-4-17 (29)
15Krylya28-107-7-15 (29)
16Orenburg27-187-6-15 (28)

The Russian Premier League standings for season 2019/20.

Zenit favorites

Given their dominance last season and the wealth of playing talent coach Sergei Semak has at his disposal, Zenit are the odds-on favorites to successfully defend the league title. They signed new contracts with Artem Dzyuba, Mikhail Kerzhakov and Yury Zhirkov to retain three experienced players. Dzyuba has been named the best footballer of the 2019/20 Russian Premier League season. The Zenit forward scored 17 goals and 13 assists in 28 league matches last term. The 31-year-old national team captain featured in 42 matches for Russia, scoring 42 goals.

Zenit have also strengthened their squad this summer with the signing of Dejan Lovren from English champions Liverpool for €12m. The Croatia centre-back, 31, has ended a six-year spell at Anfield after making just 15 appearances last season, falling to fourth-choice centre-back in the pecking order. Lovren has struggled with injuries over the last two years and was set to enter the final year of his contract. Liverpool chose not to take up an option they had for a 12-month extension, allowing the 31-year-old to sign a three-year contract with the Russian club.

TeamOddsTeamOdds
Zenit St Petersburg1.4Arsenal Tula751
CSKA Moscow7Ufa1001
Lokomotiv Moscow9Ural Ekaterinburg1001
Krasnodar13Akhmat Grozny1501
Spartak Moscow26Sochi1501
Dinamo Moscow101Khimki2501
Rostov251Tambov2501
Rubin Kazan501Rotor Volgograd2501

The preseason odds for the outright winner of the 2020/2021 Russian Premier League posted by online bookmakers.

Russian Cup finals in last five years

2020   Zenit St Petersburg - Khimki   1:0
2019   Lokomotiv Moskva - Ural   1:0  
2018   Spartak Moscow - Lokomotiv Moscow   2:1   (aet)
2017   Lokomotiv Moscow - Ural   2:0
2016   Zenit St Petersburg - CSKA Moscow   4:1

Key players
(transfer market value in m€)

Akhmat Grozny

Goalkeeper Giorgi Shelia (0.7); Defense: Wilker Angel (2), Andrey Semenov (2), Miroslav Bogosavac (1.5), Zoran Nizic (1); Midfield: Ismael Silva (3), Anton Shvets (2), Bernard Berisha (2), Ravanelli (1.8); Forward: Vladimir Iljin (1.2), Andres Ponce (1).

Arsenal Tula

Goalkeeper Mikhail Levashov (0.9); Defense: Maksim Belyaev (3.5), Robert Bauer (2), Gia Grigalava (1.8); Midfield: Sergey Tkachev (2.5), Daniil Lesovoy (1.8), Georgi Kostadinov (1.5), Goran Causic (1.5), Igor Gorbatenko (1.2); Forward: Evans Kangwa (1), Evgeniy Lutsenko (0.8).

CSKA Moscow

Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev (5); Defense: Mario Fernandes (22), Igor Diveev (4.5), Hordur Magnusson (4); Midfield: Nikola Vlasic (22), Ivan Oblyakov (7.5), Arnor Sigurdsson (6), Ilzat Akhmetov (5.5), Alan Dzagoev (4); Forward: Fedor Chalov (14), Adolfo Gaich (11).

Dinamo Moscow

Goalkeeper Anton Shunin (2); Defense: Dmitri Skopintsev (3.5), Ivan Ordets (2), Roman Evgenjev (2), Konstantin Rausch (2); Midfield: Sebastian Szymanski (5.5), Daniil Fomin (3.5), Charles Kabore (2.5); Forward: Maximilian Philipp (11), Nikolay Komlichenko (5), Sly (3).

Khimki

Goalkeeper Ilya Lantratov (0.4); Defense: Aleksandr Filin (0.9), Bryan Idowu (0.8), Egor Danilkin (0.5), Dmitri Tikhiy (0.5); Midfield: Artem Polyarus (0.7), Aleksandr Troshechkin (0.6), Arshak Koryan (0.6), Ilya Kukharchuk (0.5); Forward: Kamran Aliev (0.6), Vladimir Dyadyun (0.3).

Krasnodar

Goalkeeper Matvey Safonov (9.5); Defense: Uros Spajic (6.5), Cristian Ramirez (6.5), Sergey Petrov (5); Midfield: Tonny Vilhena (11), Shapi Suleymanov (11), Remy Cabella (10), Viktor Claesson (10), Yuri Gazinskiy (7); Forward: Wanderson (11), Marcus Berg (1.5).

Lokomotiv Moscow

Goalkeeper Guilherme (1.5); Defense: Solomon Kvirkvelia (5), Murilo Cerqueira (2.5), Maciej Rybus (2.5), Dmitri Zhivoglyadov (2); Midfield: Aleksey Miranchuk (18), Grzegorz Krychowiak (16), Dmitri Barinov (12), Anton Miranchuk (12); Forward: Fedor Smolov (6), Luka Djordjevic (2).

Rostov

Goalkeeper Sergey Pesjakov (1.2); Defense: Evgeniy Chernov (2.8), Dmitri Chistyakov (2.5), Dennis Hadzikadunic (1.5); Midfield: Mathias Normann (7.5), Aleksey Ionov (3.5), Khoren Bayramyan (2.8), Roman Eremenko (2.8), Pavel Mamaev (2.4); Forward: Eldor Shomurodov (6.5), Bjorn Sigurdarson (2).

Rotor Volgograd

Goalkeeper Yuri Nesterenko (0.4); Defense: Danil Stepanov (1), Oleg Kozhemyakin (0.6), Azat Bairyev (0.5); Midfield: Denis Tkachuk (0.9), Evgeniy Pesegov (0.7), Jano Ananidze (0.7), Ilya Zhigulev (0.6), Mukhammad Sultonov (0.5); Forward: Beka Mikeltadze (0.5), Kamil Mullin (0.4).

Rubin Kazan

Goalkeeper Yuri Dyupin (1.8); Defense: Filip Uremovic (3.5), Oleg Danchenko (2.8), Mikhail Merkulov (1.2); Midfield: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (4.5), Oleg Shatov (3), Igor Konovalov (2.5), Zurab Davitashvili (2.5), Pavel Mogilevets (2); Forward: Ivan Ignatjev (6), Djordje Despotovic (2.5).

Sochi

Goalkeeper Soslan Dzhanaev (1.5); Defense: Emanuel Mammana (4.5), Miha Mevlja (2), Elmir Nabiullin (1.8), Sergey Terekhov (1.2), Ivan Novoseltsev (1); Midfield: Ibragim Tsallagov (1.8), Aleksandr Rudenko (0.9), Christian Noboa (0.7); Forward: Dmitri Poloz (1.8), Anton Zabolotny (0.9).

Spartak Moscow

Goalkeeper Aleksandr Maksimenko (9); Defense: Samuel Gigot (9), Georgiy Dzhikiya (9), Ayrton Lucas (4); Midfield: Roman Zobnin (10), Zelimkhan Bakaev (9), Guus Til (8.5), Alex Kral (7.5); Forward: Aleksandr Kokorin (6), Aleksandr Sobolev (4.5), Jordan Larsson (4).

Tambov

Goalkeeper Nikita Chagrov (0.4); Defense: Soslan Takazov (0.5), Oleksandr Kapliyenko (0.5), Aleksey Rybin (0.5), Nikita Chicherin (0.5); Midfield: Mikhail Kostyukov (0.9), Pavel Karasev (0.8), Valeri Chuperka (0.8), Anton Kilin (0.7); Forward: Kirill Panchenko (1.5), Vladimir Obukhov (1).

Ufa

Goalkeeper Aleksandr Belenov (2); Defense: Ionut Nedelcearu (3.5), Jimmy Tabidze (2.5), Aleksey Nikitin (0.6); Midfield: Catalin Carp (1.5), Olivier Thill (1.5), Artem Golubev (0.9), Azer Aliev (0.7), Igor Bezdenezhnykh (0.6); Forward: Lovro Bizjak (0.6), Vyacheslav Krotov (0.6).

Ural

Goalkeeper Ilya Pomazun (0.4); Defense: Varazdat Haroyan (0.8), Nikolai Zolotov (0.5), Denys Kulakov (0.5); Midfield: Othman El Kabir (3.5), Eric Bicfalvi (2.5), Roman Emeljanov (1.8), Rafal Augustyniak (1.2), Marco Aratore (1); Forward: Andrey Panyukov (1.5), David Karaev (0.3).

Zenit St Petersburg

Goalkeeper Andrey Lunev (6.5); Defense: Dejan Lovren (12), Douglas Santos (12), Yaroslav Rakitskiy (8), Vyacheslav Karavaev (6); Midfield: Malcom (30), Wilmar Barrios (16), Sebastian Driussi (12), Daler Kuzyaev (8); Forward: Sardar Azmoun (18), Artem Dzyuba (12).