Monday, September 21, 2020

Prediction: Lokomotiv Moscow vs Zenit St Petersburg

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 29 Aug 2020

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Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 10/13

Bookmaker: 888sport

The 2020/21 season is yet to begin in Europe’s top five leagues, but in Russia, the top tier clubs have already gone through five matchdays each. It’s not really surprising, given that the league consists of only 16 teams, that they managed to end 2019/20 in time despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. The absence of their teams in the final stages of the European competitions further enabled them to prepare to start this campaign on time as well.

On the sixth matchday, Zenit St Petersburg will travel to Moscow to take on Lokomotiv at the RZD Arena.

Lokomotiv Moscow

Having finished second to Zenit in the previous campaign, which takes them directly into the group stages of the Champions League, Lokomotiv now sit in fifth place with seven points, the same as Krasnodar, CSKA Moscow and Rubin Kazan who are directly below in that order. FC Rostov are sixth with nine their name, one less than Akhmat Grozny in fifth and Dynamo Moscow in fourth.

Those seven points come from two wins, a draw and two defeats which Lokomotiv achieved in the opening five rounds. Those two defeats came in their last two outings, 2-1 away to Spartak Moscow and 2-3 at home at the hands of Akhmat Grozny.

Team News

Head coach Marko Nikolic will be without the services of forward Luka Djordjevic, midfielders Dmitri Barinov, Aleksey Miranchuk, as well as defender Dmitri Zhivoglyadov, who are all out with different injuries. Captain Vedran Corluka, a former Tottenham Hotspur defender, isn’t 100% fit either and it remains to be seen if he’ll be involved on Sunday.

Zenit St Petersburg

Zenit won the title in 2019/20 rather convincingly, finishing 15 points above Lokomotiv in second, and it’s hardly surprising that they top the table once more at this moment. They’ve gathered 12 points, one more than Spartak Moscow in second and PFC Sochi in third.

The five rounds played so far saw Zenit win four times and register a solitary defeat at the hands of Dynamo Moscow earlier this week. Before that, they managed to beat Rotor away by 0-2, FC Rostov away by the same scoreline, CSKA Moscow at home by 2-1, and Tambov at home by 4-1.

Team News

Sergei Semak, who will be sitting in the away dugout in Moscow, won’t be able to call upon goalkeeper Andrey Lunyov, forward Sebastian Driussi and midfielder Wilmar Barrios. Lunyov and Driussi are injured, while Barrios is suspended for this match.

Midfielder Leon Musayev has been struggling with an injury as well, though he is reportedly very close to returning and could make an appearance on Sunday.

Conclusion

There doesn’t seem to be too much worth considering for too long about this match. Surprises are, of course, always possible, but it would indeed be a surprise if Lokomotiv manage to keep a single point for themselves.

Zenit are the superior team, no doubt, and they’ll be eager to prove that after the disappointing defeat to Dynamo Moscow earlier this week.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 10/13

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 four different football blogs.

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