Champions Zenit were unlucky not to beat Dinamo in Moscow having conceded the equalizer in the fifth minute of injury time, but this will be a perfect opportunity to return to winning ways. Rostov sank further down the standings as they lost at home to struggling Krasnodar, and there is no doubt the visitors face an uphill task in St Petersburg.
Unlucky defeat in Moscow
Zenit have established themselves as one of the giants of Russian football during the last decade with last year’s title win the just award for the impressive performances over the last few years. Having kept the entire squad together, letting go of only several fringe players, the team from St Petersburg are again one of the main favourites for the title. Zenit had a pretty good start to the season, but they have recently made several slip-ups, namely losing to Tom away, although they quickly returned to winning ways by beating Spartak 3:0. Luciano Spalletti’s side were on the verge of second successive derby win as they were leading against Dynamo in Moscow, but had to settle for one point in the end after conceding the equalizer deep into the injury time. However, they should now have an easy job against struggling Rostov, so home win should never come into question.
Victor Faizulin is suspended after seeing red against Dynamo, but Danny returns to the side after missing the game in Moscow.
Costly defeat to Kransodar
Having finished last season just four points above the relegation zone, Rostov managed to rally the troops in the winter, with the improved financial situation seeing them bring several notable players. Salata, Yankov, Khokhlov, Boussaidi, Rebko and Cesnauskis all immediately become an important part of the squad, but it now seems that they will need some more time to gel, as the arrival of so many new players is having a negative effect on the squad. Following the very poor start of the season, Rostov have now lost at home to relegation rivals Krasnodar, so you can imagine they will be very low on confidence in St Petersburg. Having brought just two points from five away games this season, Rostov clearly don’t have much to hope for from this match.
Interim coach Vladimir Lyutyi has no reported injuries, but he is likely to make several changes to the team that lost to Krasnodar.
Zenit have been in very good form lately and after impressing against both Spartak and Dynamo, they should have an easy job against struggling Rostov. Vladimir Lyutyi’s side are really low on confidence following the home defeat to Krasnodar and they should be happy if they manage to avoid a heavy defeat.
Our prediction: Zenit with -1.5 Asian handicap
Odds: 1.80 (4/5)