Russian Premier League Preview: Matchday 11

Goal.com's Con Stamocostas looks forward to another round of matches in the Russian Premier League.
The Russians are coming! Do not fear, even though all the European leagues have all but finished, the RPL is only a third of the way through.

The big matches in the RPL this round:

Zenit have lost to CSKA and Dinamo Moscow in their last two; can they stop the slide against Kuban Krasnodar? The other enticing encounters during matchday 11 are the Moscow derby between Lokomotiv and Spartak and the game between the teams in equal second, Kryliya Sovetov and FC Moscow.

RPL Top & Bottom

Top Four
Rubin Kazan 21pts, CSKA Moscow 19pts, Kryliya Sovetov (Samara) 19pts, FC Moscow 19pts, Spartak Moscow 17pts, Dinamo Moscow 16pts.

Bottom Two
Aliens 7pts, FC Khimki 4pts

Top Goalscorers
Wellington (Spartak Moscow) 7 goals; Dominguez (Rubin Kazan) 5 goals; Pavel Pogrebnyak (Zenit), M Jakubko (FC Moscow), Alex (Spartak Moscow), S Semak (Rubin) 4 goals.

Fixtures Matchday 11 (all kick off times GMT)

Friday, May 29
14:00 Amkar Perm - Saturn Moscow

Saturday, May 30

8:30 Tom Tomsk - Dinamo Moscow
11:00 Rostov-Na-Donu - Terek Grozny
11:00 Zenit St Petersburg - Kuban Krasnodar
11:00 Lokomotiv Moscow - Spartak Moscow
13:30 Kryliya Sovetov (Samara) - FC Moscow

Friday

Amkar Perm - Saturn Moscow
The teams placed 13th and 15th respectively take on each other in the early game. The battle is on to to stay up in this six pointer; even with 20 games to go this could be a crucial encounter between two teams who will hope to stave of relegation.

Form Guide: Last Five Games
The Aliens – LLDDD
Points: 7. Position: 15th.

Amkar Perm – LLDDL
Points: 8. Position: 13th.

Saturday

Tom Tomsk - Dinamo Moscow
Dinamo Moscow are in reasonable form after a good win against Zenit last week. The Blue and Whites should be too good for Tom Tomsk, who languish in 12th position. However, they are capable of holding Dinamo to a draw at home, especially after keeping Spartak Moscow to a point last time they hosted a match. Newly recalled Russian national team player Aleksandr Kerzhakov will be one to watch for Dinamo.

Form Guide: Last Five Games

Tom Tomsk - LWLDD
Points: 12. Position: 12th.

Dynamo Moscow - LWLDW
Points: 16. Position: 6th.

Rostov-Na-Donu - Terek Grozny
Rostov last had a win in the RPL against CSKA Moscow five games ago, while Terek got their first win in eight games last week against FC Khimki. This should be a close match between the mid-table rivals.

Form Guide: Last Five Games
Rostov-Na-Donu - WLDDL
Points: 14. Position: 8th.

Terek Grozny - DLDLW
Points: 12. Position: 11th.

Zenit St. Petersburg - Kuban Krasnodar
Zenit have lost their last two games - both away fixtures - to CSKA and Dinamo Moscow. This week they return home with a game against Kuban. It will be no walkover for the home team as the Kubansty had a fine home win against CSKA last week.

Form Guide: Last Five Games
Zenit St. Petersburg - WLWLL
Points: 15. Position 7th.

FC Kuban Krasnodar - DDDLW
Points: 12. Position: 10th.

Lokomotiv Moscow - Spartak Moscow
There is almost a Moscow derby in the RPL every week. A win to Lokomotiv puts them closer to European positions and win for Spartak puts them closer to the leaders.

The RPL Preview says this every week but look for exciting Brazilian duo Welliton and Alex to feature prominently for Spartak. Russian attacker Vladimir Bystrov is also causing havoc as the weather in Russia starts to get warmer.

Reports in Russian media suggest Alexandr Minchenkov is likely to replace Peter Odemwingie in the Lokomotiv starting XI after the Nigerian was sent-off last week against Rubin Kazan.

Yuri Semin, who led Dinamo Kiev to UEFA Cup semi-finals, will become the new coach of Lokomotiv Moscow.

Form Guide: Last Five Games
Lokomotiv Moscow – LWDWL
Points: 13. Position: 9th.

Spartak Moscow – WLWDW
Points: 17. Position: 5th.

Kryliya Sovetov (Samara) - FC Moscow

Equal second Kryliya Sovetov, the team from Samara, are doing very well this season and so are FC Moscow, also equal second.

Either club could jump to become outright leader this weekend if they were to win arguably the game of the round.

Argentinean Hector Bracamonte has been in good form for FC Moscow, scoring and setting up goals, as has the tall Slovakian Martin Jakubko. For Krylia Sovetov, look for former Celtic player Jiri Jarosik to pull the strings in midfield.

Form Guide: Last Five Games
Kryliya Sovetov (Samara) - WLLWW
Points: 19. Position: 3rd.

FC Moscow – WWDDW
Points: 19. Position: 4th.

Dasvidania, till next week.

Con Stamocostas, Goal.com