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    Zenit to Cement Good Start Against Kazan

    21 July 2017 | Premier League | Preview
    3801
    Zenit to Cement Good Start Against Kazan

    The Russian Premier League begins its second round of fixtures of the new 2017/18 season this weekend.  The early league leaders Zenit St Petersburg welcome Rubin Kazan to the Stadion Krestovskyi on Saturday afternoon.

    Zenit St Petersburg will be expected to challenge strongly for the title this season having won only one Russian league title in the past five seasons. Last season they were forced to settle for third place behind Spartak Moscow and CSKA Moscow.

    You must go back to 2010 to find the last time Rubin Kazan finished inside the top three and they were third, behind CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg, who won the league that season.

    Zenit St Petersburg are currently second in the Premier League table having taken maximum points from their first game of the season.  Rubin Kazan start down in 11th place, having lost their opening match of the season.

    Trends show Zenit St Petersburg have won their last four matches in the Russian Premier League, a run which stretches back into last season.  In fact, they have lost just one of their last eight league games, winning seven.  The defeat came at home to Akhmat Grozny and was considered an upset.

    That defeat is the only one Zenit St Petersburg have suffered at home in their previous twenty-six Russian Premier League games.  Eighteen of those games have ended in victory for Zenit St Petersburg and they will be aiming to make their new home a fortress this season under the guidance of Roberto Mancini.

    Zenit have kept a clean sheet in six of their last eight league games and have conceded 3 goals in their last nine at home.

    Rubin Kazan make the trip to St Petersburg having won only three of their last thirteen Russian Premier League games. Trends show seven of those games have ended with defeat and three have been draws.

    Away from home Rubin Kazan have won two of their last three league games but their overall record makes for unpleasant reading.  There have been just four league victories on the road in their last seventeen attempts.

    This fixture ended 4-1 in the favour of Zenit St Petersburg last season.

    Looking at the team news and Mancini will be without Christian Noboa who is suspended and Ivan Novoseltsev, who is still recovering from injury.  Artem Dzyuba will lead the line, with support from Oleg Shatov, Alexandr Kokorin and Giuliano in midfield.  Zenit are likely to play a 4-2-3-1 formation.

    Rubin Kazan travel without the injured Ilzat Akhmetov.  New signings Sardar Azmoun and Soslan Dzhanaev are both available, with the former set to start up-front alongside Maksim Kanunnikov.

    Having stated the season with a defeat at home, the last place Rubin Kazan would want to visit is Zenit St Petersburg.  With such a good home record and having recorded an away victory last weekend, Mancini will be expecting maximum points from this game.

    With a good defensive record at the end of last season and a clean sheet last week, don’t be surprised to see Zenit St Petersburg win this match to nil.

    Predictions for Premier League

    Home team - Away team Forebet
    flag_10 Ru1
    Rubin KazanFK Ural
    25/10/2019 17:30
    1
    flag_10 Ru1
    FK TambovFK Ufa
    26/10/2019 12:00
    2
    flag_10 Ru1
    Akhmat GroznyiArsenal Tula
    26/10/2019 14:30
    1
    flag_10 Ru1
    FK RostovPFC Sochi
    26/10/2019 17:00
    1

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    OVERALL TABLE PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
    1. Lokomotiv Moscow 29 13 9 2 2 22 11 11
    2. Zenit 29 13 9 2 2 27 7 20
    3. FK Krasnodar 27 13 8 3 2 26 14 12
    4. FK Rostov 26 13 8 2 3 24 21 3
    5. CSKA Moscow 26 13 8 2 3 20 12 8
    6. Krylia Sovetov 17 13 5 2 6 18 16 2
    7. FK Ural 17 13 5 2 6 20 27 -7
    8. FK Ufa 16 13 4 4 5 12 12 0
    9. Spartak Moscow 15 13 4 3 6 13 15 -2
    10. Rubin Kazan 15 13 4 3 6 8 16 -8
    11. Arsenal Tula 15 13 4 3 6 15 19 -4
    12. FK Orenburg 14 13 4 2 7 17 20 -3
    13. PFC Sochi 13 13 3 4 6 11 16 -5
    14. Akhmat Groznyi 12 13 3 3 7 8 19 -11
    15. Dynamo Moscow 11 13 2 5 6 9 15 -6
    16. FK Tambov 8 13 2 2 9 11 21 -10

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