Football Returns

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After a winter break ROSGOSSTRAKH Russian Football Championship restarts. Over a little bit more than two months the teams will have to settle all their tasks. And the competition in the current season will be very serious. In the top part of the tournament table a large group of teams will compete for the place among the top three, and as for the bottom part - 8 teams are in the dangerous zone. There are only six points from 9th to 16th position! So the finish of the season will be a real decoration of the tournament.

During the winter break the teams had time for settling their problems with squads, but due to a very uneasy situation in the country, it would have been a mistake to expect a wide range of purchases. So we shall know quite soon - at the end of May - how the teams solved their local tasks.

The season restart traditionally goes with the holiday of beauty and spring - 8 March. And our clubs are ready to congratulate its lady-fans. Russian Football Premier League invites everybody to the stadia! Your favourite teams need your support!

Krylia Sovetov - Rostov      

05.03.2016 14:30, Start, Saransk


Referee: Vitaly Meshkov (Dmitrov). In season 2015-2016 – 11 matches, 51 yellow cards – 1 red card – 4 penalties awarded

Suspended:  none – none

Balance of the matches in the Russian Championship top division: +14=13-16 (52:58)

In the first round: 1:1

Due to the fact that the pitch of Metallurg stadium in Samara is not ready, the match will be played at the reserve stadium in Saransk. For Krylia Sovetov, which is in the dangerous zone, this fact, for sure, is not the best news. But Premier League has high standards of requirements to football pitch quality.

The team from Samara did not renovate their squad much during the break in the Championship. Dragun, Kalanes and Gorbatenko left, but the club found substitutes by purchasing defender Kalenkovich and loaning forward Bruno. The main problem of Krylia Sovetov in 2015 was quite a non-result performance. They scored only 12 goals over 18 matches. However, due to the stable and reliable defense (20 conceded goals), the team managed to gain points. How Krylia Sovetov is on the 12th position in the table and the club expects at least not to go lower.

Rostov was the main news in the current season. The team of Kurban Berdyev after 18 matchdays occupies the second position, being only three points behind PFC CSKA. During the transfer window the team from Rostov managed to settle many serious issues and to get the ban for registration of new players lifted. Purchases of Rostov are quite impressive: midfield Erokhin, a candidate to the National Team of russia, defender Kudryashov and midfield from Iran Ezzatollahi. So Rostov did not become weaker for sure, so we can expect some surprises from this team in the spring part of the season.


Rubin - Kuban      

05.03.2016 17:00, Kazan Arena, Kazan


Referee: Mikhail Vilkov (Nizhny Novgorod). In season 2015-2016 – 11 matches – 40 yellow cards – 2 red cards – 3 penalties awarded

Suspended:  Georgiev (CDC, 3 matches) - none

Balance of the matches in the Russian Championship top division: +8=4-5 (19:12)

In the first round: 1:0

The team from Kazan used the winter period in full by strengthening the squad with the wide range of strong players. Defender Pilyavskiy and Bergstrӧm, as well as midfields Tkachuk and Caktaš should support Rubin, which will try to gain as many points as possible at the end of the tournament and to finish among the top eight teams. Besides, forward Portnyagin, which they had missed a lot, recovered after a serious injury.

Rubin is going to play all its matches at one of the best stadia in Russia - Kazan Arena - which gathers more spectators than Tsentralnyi Stadium. So the successful performance of the team can attract even more people to the tribunes.

The most changes happened to Kuban. Its leaders left the team - Ignatyev and Melgarejo, as well as Arshavin, Tkachev and Tlisov. The team from Krasnodar strengthened the defense line -  Santana, Zotov and Apodi proved themselves in the Cup of Russia match against Zenit. Santana is worth of the special mark, he showed not only the perfect skills of head playing, but also good tackle skills. Zhurakhovskiy and Kontsedalov will try to prove themselves in midfield, and an experienced Seleznev, who has played a lot for the National Team of Ukraine, and showed himself very well in European Cups and National Championship matches. With the help of these players Kuban will try to leave the relegation zone, and to return its supporters to the stands.

Krasnodar  - Zenit      

05.03.2016 19:30, Kuban, Krasnodar


Referee: Sergey Karasev (Moscow). In season 2015-2016 – 9 matches – 44 yellow cards – 6 red cards – 6 penalties awarded

Suspended:  non – none

Balance of the matches in the Russian Championship top division: +1=2-6 (6:20)

In the first round: 2:0


Both teams are approximately in the same situation due to their participation in European Cups. Besides, Krasnodar has already played one official match more for the moment. It is interesting, that both Krasnodar and Zenit haven't scored any goal in the full time in their matches played.

As for the changes in the squad, they are minimal in Krasnodar - Russian goalkeeper Kritsyuk moved there from Portugal, he will make the competition for this position more intense. Perspective midfield Podberezkin also joined the team as well as Kouassi, who will hardly get in the team starting squad.

Zenit has much more purchases. Kokorin and Zhirkov moved to the Neva riverbanks from Dynamo, midfield Mauricio moved there from Terek, and perspective Serbian player Jovanovic will play the end of the season in FNL for Zenit-2.

It is still not clear who will be the head coach of Zenit in the next season. MEdia regularly announces new candidates for this position, but the team administration has not announce their decision yet.

As for the aims for the rest of the season, Zenit is going to compete for the Championship. Having such squad, the team of Andre Villa-Boas has all chances for the successful performance. Krasnodar is also aimed for the highest possible positions. So both teams expect to gain three points in the coming match.

Ufa - Mordovia     

06.03.2016 14:30, Neftyanik, Ufa


Referee: Sergey Ivanov (Rostov-on-Don). In season 2015-2016 – 9 matches – 27 yellow cards – 1 red card.

Suspended:  none – Phibel (4 yellow cards)

Balance of the matches in the Russian Championship top division: +2=0-1 (4:2)

In the first round: 1:0

The local club is hosting Mordovia in Ufa. This match is very important for both teams, as they are the direct competitors for keeping position in the Premier League. So the losing of points now can be very expensive at the very finish.

During the winter break the team from Ufa purchased goalkeeper Shelia, midfields Zubarov and Sysoev. As for the loses, it is worth to mention goalkeeper Yurchenko going on a loan.

Mordovia did not show itself very much at the transfer marked due to some reasons. Anyway, the club still believes that they can manage to keep their position in the Premier League for the next season


Terek - Lokomotiv     

06.03.2016 17:00, Akhmat Arena, Grozny 

Referee: Alexander Egorov (Saransk). In season 2015-2016 – 5 matches – 23 yellow cards – 1 penalty awarded

Suspended:  none – none

Balance of the matches in the Russian Championship top division:  +2=4-11 (8:34)

In the first round: 0:0

For the club from Grozny Lokomotiv is a very inconvenient opponent. For the whole history of the Russian Championships Terek beat the team from Moscow only twice. Besides, the latest success was in 2009.

Defeder Kudryahov and midfield Mauricio left Terek squad in winter. But the team from Grozny got Mohammadi, Wilkshire and Pliev to their defense line, as well as Ojala who returned from loan. Pedro Ken came to support the midfield line. As the Cup of Russia match against Krasnodar proved Terek had done a lot of work during off-season time and is ready for the competition.

Lokomotiv was not much successful in UEFA Europa League where it lost to Fenerbahçe on the result of two matches. Among other factors, it was influenced by departure of Niasse, who was one of the leaders. Henti came to substitute him, he is to make the attacking line more dangerous. Midfield Ignatyev from Kuban will also be very useful for the team.

Lokomotiv is among competing for the champions title teams so the club of Igor Cherevchenko cannot afford losing points. A large group of teams is closely behind and failure can cost the place among the top three.


PFC CSKA - Spartak      

06.03.2016 19:Arena Khimki, Khimki


Referee: Аlexey Nikolaev (Moscow). In season 2015-2016 – 11 matches – 38 yellow cards – 2 red cards – 2 penalties awarded

Suspended:  none – none

Balance of the matches in the Russian Championship top division: +19=13-17 (66:65)

In the first round:  2:1

The main derby of the Russian football awaits for supporters just after re-start of the season. The match between PFC CSKA and Spartak is always an event. It is highly interesting both for supporters and media, these matches gather the biggest number of fans.

National Team of Russia captain Roman Shirokov moved to PFC CSKA from the Red-Whites in winter, this fact adds intrigue to this game. The Army team also found Olanare as a substitution for Doumbia. One more their purchase is midfield Tkachev. So PFC CSKA managed to strengthen its squad in winter without any special investments.

Spartak only bought Melgarejo, who can play both in attack and in other positions. As for the losses, they are - defender Tasci, Shirokov, Ozbiliz and Movsisyan. However, young players will get their chance at the end of the season.

Anyway, in spite of all squad problems of Spartak, it is very difficult to name the favourite of the derby. So all we have to do is to wait for the game, which will for sure bring a lot of fantastic emotions to supporters.


Ural - Dynamo     

07.03.2016 14:30, SKB-Bank Arena, Ekaterinburg


Referee: Vladislav Bezborodov (St.Petersburg). In season 2015-2016 – 12 matches – 57 yellow cards – 2 red cards – 6 penalties awarded

Suspended:  none – Sosnin (red card)

Balance of the matches in the Russian Championship top division: +3=2-10 (11:37)

In the first round:  0:1

The local Ural will be hosting Dynamo in Ekaterinburg. Dynamo noticeably renovated its squad. However, Ural also made amendments to the registration players lists.

Erokhin and Podberezkin left Ural, but they were substituted with Ryazantsev loaned from Zenit and Korobov, who had played in FNL. The latter managed to score to Spartak Moscow in the test match.

Dynamo parted with Zhirkov, Kokorin and Büttner. But they got an experienced Eschenko on a loan from Anji, as well as three foreign players - Beciraj, Holman and Dragun. The first match of the season - the Cup of Russia match against Amkar was a failure for Dynamo.

Dynamo is in a dangerous zone, so the team of Andrey Kobelev desperately needs to gain points.


Anji - Amkar      

07.03.2016 17:00, Anji Arena, Kaspiisk


Referee: Alexey Matyunin (Moscow). In season 2015-2016 – 10 matches, 43 yellow cards – 4 red cards – 3 penalties awarded

Suspended:  none – none

Balance of the matches in the Russian Championship top division: +4=3-2 (9:7)

In the first round:  1:1

One more match of principle will be wrapping-up the MD. Both teams are from the bottom of the table. Anji from the 14th position is hosting Amkar from the 10th position. And the club from Perm is only 5 points ahead of their opponents.

A big group of player left Anji in winter, but they also received some support - goalkeeper Yurchenko, defender Mensa and midfield Berisha. Amkar already played one match in the Cup of Russia and proved itself to be ready for the season re-start.

In any case this match will also be very tense, and we should not expect many goals in it.  The teams have to get points to use them at the finish.


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