Sunday, September 26, 2021

Prediction: CSKA Moscow vs Lokomotiv Moscow

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 30 Jul 2021

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Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: 888sport

CSKA are set to welcome Lokomotiv at the VEB Arena in Moscow in the Russian Premier League on Saturday evening, in what will be apart of the second round of the 2021-22 season.

CSKA Moscow

It’s been quite a while since we’ve last seen a season without CSKA Moscow in a European competition, but this will be one after they finished the previous campaign in sixth place with 50 points, six short of a place in the Europa League. Nonetheless, they started well enough this time around, beating FC Ufa in the opener by 1-0, courtesy of a strike by Anton Zabolotnyi. The three points at the start of the season are of huge importance, but on the other hand, it wasn’t a very convincing performance against a team which usually sits in the bottom half of the table.

It hasn’t been a very lively summer for CSKA regarding transfers. Zabolotny arrived as a free agent from PFC Sochi add to their attacking ranks, and they reportedly paid around €170,ooo for defensive midfielder Maskim Mukhin, who arrived from Lokomotiv. On the other hand, 18-year-old centre-back Nikita Kotin has been released upon the expiry of his contract, while goalkeeper Ilya Pomazun, strikers Ilya Shkurin, Vitali Zhironkin and Gocha Gogrichiani all left on temporary deals.

Aleksey Berezutski’s team didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory through the pre-season. They were beaten by Austrian lower-lever sides Wiener Neustadt and Kapfenberger, as well as Danish Copenhagen, before going on to beat Austrian Flyeralarm Admira, Slovakian Zlate Moravce, and Nizhny Novgorod.

Team News

Berezutski will have to make do without several players in this match. Centre-back Hordur Magnusson, left-back Georgi Shennikov and midfielder Arnor Sigurdsson are all out with diffirent injuries, while midfielder Nikola Vlasic is a doubt.

Centre-back Bruno Fuchs and striker Adolfo Gaich are currently representing Brazil and Argentina at the Tokyo Olympics.

Lokomotiv Moscow

Lokomotiv finished in third place last season and unlike CSKA, they will be playing in the Europa League this term. They’ve also won the Russian Cup, beating Krylya Sovetov in the final.

They’ve started this season slightly better than their hosts for this match, beating Arsenal Tula by 3-1, though it was far from an easy win. Arsenal held the lead until they lost defender Artyom Sokol to a red card in the 79th minute. Rifat Zhemaletdinov then quickly turned the contest around with a brace, before Fyodor Smolov put the final touch with a minute left on the clock.

Lokomotiv signed centre-back Tin Jedvaj for €4m from Byer Leverkusen this summer. They also brought in right-back Maksim Nenakhov from Akhmat Grozny, and midfielder Kirill Zinovich from FC Minks. As has been said, Mukhin has gone over to CSKA, centre-back Solomon Kvirkvelia and striker Luka Djordjevic have been released, and left-back Bryan Idowu went to join Khimki as a free agent.

During the pre-season, the team under the command of Marko Nikolic played a host of matches, beating Slovakian side MSK Zilina, Slovenian Olimpija and Celje, Greek Aris, Austrian TSV Hartberg, drawing with Rapid Wien and Cracovia, and eventually losing to FC Rostov.

Team News

Striker Ze Luis has been out of action through injury for a while and he isn’t ready to return yet, but Nikolic doesn’t have any other absentees.

Conclusion

This match feels like it could go either way, with one goal at either end likely enough to settle it. There shouldn’t be more than two.

Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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