Russian Super Cup: CSKA Moscow vs Zenit preview

July 12, 2013
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

Zenit vs CSKA MoscowHaving won the domestic double last term, CSKA Moscow battle Russian Premier League runners up Zenit in the Super Cup match played in Rostov.

One of Russia’s most famous clubs go into the new season looking to defend the league title as well as finally enjoy some success on European stage.

The Army Men start the new campaign with virtually the same squad, having kept hold of all star players, while only adding two new footballers.

Free-scoring midfielders Georgi Milanov and Steven Zuber arrived from Litex Lovech and Grasshoppers respectively, and they are already pushing for starting places.

Despite the last season’s success, CSKA Moscow are as much as 2.70 (17/10) with bet365 to defeat Zenit in regular time.

Star midfielder Keisuke Honda and Ahmed Musa have resumed full training after returning from the Confederations Cup and they are in contention for starting places.

However, Zoran Tosic, Alexander Cauna and Seydou Doumbia are sidelined through injury, whereas Rasmus Elm should be fit to play.

Probable starting line-up (4-1-4-1): Akinfeev – A. Berezutskiy, V. Berezutskiy, Ignashevich, Schennikov – Wernbloom – Musa, Dzagoev, Honda, Zuber – Wagner Love.

Zenit narrowly missed out on the league title last season, finishing the league campaign two points behind their next opponents, while they were pretty disappointing in the Europa League fixtures.

The team have been playing well below their potential for a while now, and it looks as though this season is the final opportunity for Luciano Spalletti to prove his worth to the club chiefs.

Zenit managed to reinforce their ranks with veterans Andrei Arshavin and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, but, on the other hand, Igor Denisov and Bruno Alves both left.

Luciano Spalletti has changed his formation to 4-2-3-1, with his side looking strong in all areas of the pitch and more than capable of challenging for honours.

Having won two Super Cup matches in three appearances, Zenit look a good bet to make it three out of four, with bet365 paying 2.63 (13/8) on away win.

With full-back Alexander Anyukov still sidelined through injury and Hulk yet to reach full fitness after taking part at Confederations Cup, Luciano Spalletti could field the same side that recorded a 1-0 friendly victory over Shakhtar Donetsk.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Malafeev – Hubocan, Tymoshchuk, Lombaerts, Lukovic – Zyryanov, Witsel – Fayzulin, Arshavin, Danny – Kerzhakov.

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