Russian Premier League: Matchday 5 Preview

Con Stamocostas looks ahead to another week of action in the RPL...
The biggest story of the week in Russian football was the news that Spartak Moscow have confirmed that Michael Laudrup, appointed just seven months ago, is no longer the club's head coach.
The announcement follows the capital outfit's exit from the Russian Cup at the hands of Dynamo Moscow - a defeat which, after they'd finished eighth in the league last term, also brought an end to their hopes of Europa League qualification.

The club declared via an official statement, "Michael Laudrup has been dismissed as head coach due to our recent poor results."
Spartak went on to announce that Valery Karpin, the Estonian-born former Russian international, has been installed as caretaker manager.

The big matches coming up in matchday 5 are Lokomotiv Moscow - Zenit St. Petersburg and Rubin Kazan-Dinamo Moscow.

Fixtures Matchday 5 (all kick-off times GMT)

Saturday, April 18
09:30 FK Tom' Tomsk vs. Spartak Nalchik 
12:00 Saturn Moscow vs. FC Moscow   
14:30 Spartak Moscow vs. Terek Grozny   
17:00 FK Rostov-Na-Donu vs. PFK Samara Kryliya Sovetov  
Sunday, April 19.
09:00 FK Amkar Perm' vs. Kuban Krasnodar   
11:00 Lokomotiv Moscow vs. Zenit St Petersburg   
13:30 FC Khimki vs. CSKA Moscow    
16:00 FK Rubin Kazan vs. Dinamo Moscow    

FK Tom' Tomsk vs. Spartak Nalchik

Tom' Tomsk enjoy the luxury of playing at home this week after drawing away to Kuban Krasnodar. Spartak Nalchik also drew last week. Both teams have the same record for goals scored and conceded.

I suspect only the fans from Tomsk and Nalchick will be up for this one.


Tom Tomsk - LWLD  
Points: 4, Position: 12
Goals scored: 1, Goals conceded: 4

Spartak Nalchik – LDLD
Points: 2, Position: 15
Goals scored: 1, Goals conceded: 4

Saturn Moscow vs. FC Moscow   

The Aliens managed an away draw at Spartak Nalchik last week. The Saturn team had 33-year-old Marko Topic to thank for the point as the Bosnia-Herzegovina international equalised late in the game.

FC Moscow took Spartak Moscow to school last week. Their strong performance in beating their city rivals 3-1 inevitably led to the sacking of the not-so-great Dane, Michael Laudrup.


Saturn Moscow – LLWD
Points: 4, Position: 11
Goals scored: 4, Goals conceded:7

FC Moscow – LDDW
Points: 5, Position: 7
Goals scored: 3, Goals conceded: 2

Spartak Moscow vs. Terek Grozny

You could say Spartak Moscow have had a pretty bad week. They lost against city rivals FC Moscow 3-1 in matchday 4 of the RPL then got knocked-out of the Russian Cup by Dinamo Moscow. This killed their chances of competing in Europe after the summer as they only finished eighth last season.

Unsurprisingly, coach Michael Laudrup was promptly sacked and was replaced by former Russian international Valery Karpin.

It would be no surprise if the team from Chechnya, Terek Grozny, were able to add to Spartak’s misery.


Spartak Moscow – DLWL
Points: 4, Position: 10
Goals scored: 3, Goals conceded:2

Terek Grozny - WDWL  
Points: 7 Position: 6
Goals scored: 3, Goals conceded: 2

FK Rostov-Na-Donu vs. PFK Samara Kryliya Sovetov

Rostov have made a shaky start to the RPL, winning only one game so far. The team from Rostov-on-Don, lost 1-0 to Dinamo Moscow last time out. The Dons face current league leaders, Krylia Sovetov.

The team from Samara had an excellent result in their last match, beating cellar dwellers FC Kimki 3-0. This away trip to face the newly promoted outfit is likely to see a close match.

FC Rostov - DDWL
Points: 5 Position: 8th
Goals scored: 2, Goals conceded:2

Kryliya Sovetov (Samara) - WWLW
Points: 9 Position: 1st
Goals scored: 6, Goals conceded:2

FK Amkar Perm' V Kuban Krasnodar

Amkar Perm managed to hold Zenit St Petersburg to a nil-nil draw at home last week, and while that was a decent result it doesn’t cover up the fact that the team situated on the banks of Karma River have yet to win this season.

Kuban Krasnodar had a good crowd of around 23,000 to witness a goalless draw against Tom Tomsk the previous week.

Will Amkar see any good fortune come round their way against the canaries of Kubantsy?


Amkar Perm–DLDD
Points:3 Position:15th
Goals scored: 0, Goals conceded:1

FC Kuban Krasnodar - LWLD
Points:4, Position:13th
Goals scored: 2, Goals conceded:5

Lokomotiv Moscow V Zenit St Petersburg

Lokomotiv Moscow were thrashed 4-1 at CSKA Moscow last week.

The Moscow side will hope new recruit Baye Djiby Fall, Superligaen's leading goal scorer from last season, can improve on the few chances he made last round and provide a clinical edge to his finishing this week.

The Railway Boys enjoy home ground advantage this round against Zenit St Petersburg who disappointingly had a goalless draw against Amkar Perm last week..

Lokomotiv Moscow – DDWL
Points: 5 Position: 9th
Goals scored: 5, Goals conceded:7

Zenit St Petersburg – DWWD
Points: 8 Position: 4th
Goals scored: 6, Goals conceded: 2

FC Khimki V CSKA Moscow

FC Khimki have conceded more goals than any team in the RPL this season, so it is no surprise that they are looking at the ladder from the bottom up.

A 3-0 loss to Kryliya Sovetov Samara last week will give the army boys of CSKA the smell of blood in their nostrils as they are in good form after beating Lokomotiv Moscow 4-1 at home last round.


FC Khimki - DLLL
Points: 1 Position:16th
Goals scored: 3, Goals conceded: 8

CSKA Moscow – WLDW
Points: 7 Position: 5th
Goals scored: 7, Goals conceded: 2

FK Rubin Kazan V Dinamo Moscow

I rate this game as being the match to watch out for on matchday five of the RPL.

Both teams have good form, Rubin Kazan are yet to lose while Dinamo lead the league.

Alexander Kerzhakov is the leading goal scorer with three goals for Dinamo Moscow.

Rubin have conceded only one goal this season.

Both teams will be looking for a win to cement their positions on the high end of the ladder.


Dinamo Moscow – WWLW
Points: 9 Position: 2nd
Goals scored: 5, Goals conceded: 3

Rubin Kazan -WDDW
Points: 8 Position: 3rd
Goals scored: 5, Goals conceded: 1

Con Stamocostas,