Dinamo Moscow v Zenit – Friday 10 June – Dynamo Stadium (18:00)
With all Major European leagues having completed their seasons, the Russian Premier League is the biggest league left for European football fans to follow. With just 11 game weeks, defending champions Zenit Saint Petersburg find themselves joint top of the table with last seasons’ runners up CSKA Moscow, Dinamo moscow and Anzhi. This weekend will see Zenit travel to Moscow to face Dinamo Moscow in an important match as both sides are chasing top spot by earning a victory here.
Zenit were the 2007 and 2010 champions of the Russian Premier League and the winners of both the 2008 UEFA Cup and the 2008 UEFA Super Cup. They have established themselves as the new super power of Russian football and have won 7 trophies in the last 4 years. Zenit ended their four-match winless streak with a convincing 3-0 home win over Russia’s most decorated side Spartak Moscow on the weekend. After a dull opening half-hour the hosts took the lead in the 36th minute through Serbian forward Danko Lazovic, who scored with a precise spot-kick after he had been fouled in the box. Zenit, spurred by the local capacity crowd, poured into attack and increased their lead through Russian forward Alexander Kerzhaskov, who scored in the 66th minute off a pass from their star Portuguese midfielder Danny. Kerzhakov netted his second with five minutes to go, lobbing the ball into the net to secure Zenit a well-deserved win.
Dynamo Moscow is the oldest Russian football club and the only one which has always played in the top tiers of the Soviet and the Russian football competitions never being relegated to the lower divisions. Despite this, it has never won today’s Russian Premier League title. However they have done well in recent season, finishing in the top half of the table every season since 2007. They have had a good start this season and lie on 19 points at the top of the table with CSKA Moscow, Zenit and Anzhi. After losing 2 of their first 3 matches, they have gone on an unbeaten run of 8 games and are coming off 2 excellent wins. They are still unbeaten at home, however they will be trying to avoid the 2-1 loss they suffered at home last season to Zenit.
Zenit have dominated previous encounters against Dinamo Moscow having only lost 6 times in the last 23 matches. Zenit’s away record last season read: 15 games played; 10 wins; 4 draws and just 1 loss. The away win is tipped.