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Representing A Continent

Started on 15 November 2019 by TheLFCFan
Latest Reply on 13 August 2020 by OneMoreGame
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Brilliant to see that Luke was able to retain his key players for the rest of the season. Alan's return will only help improve the squad, also.

Nikola Vlasic celebrates his second goal in his team's 4-1 victory over Gent.

Russian side CSKA Moscow, will play Inter Milan in the second knockout round of the Europa League, having beaten Gent 5-2 on aggregate in the First Knockout Round earlier this week.

Breezing past Belgian side KAA Gent, has seen Luke Hendrick’s team drawn against Italian giants Inter Milan in the next stage of the Europa League. Having drawn the first leg away to Gent 1-1, courtesy of Lucas Santos, his first goal since making his loan move permanent, CSKA knew a goalless draw would be enough to qualify for the next round.

However, that wasn’t an option it seemed, for a team who was playing just their second competitive fixture in almost three months. Arnór Sigurðsson gave his team the early lead just nine minutes into the game, continuing his incredible form from the first half of the season. Then Nikola Vlasic, who had scored just one goal in all competitions before the game, added the team's second two minutes later. It was three with just thirteen minutes on the clock, once again Vlasic doing the damage.

In a theme of CSKA since the arrival of Luke Hendricks as manager, the Russian side controlled the game, keeping 59% of possession throughout the game. Currently ranking top of the Russian Premier League for average possession, and 5th in the Europa League for that same stat, it was clear, the Moscow based outfit weren’t going to get complacent despite their lead. But it didn’t mean Gent had given up, and had it not been for an incredible Ivan Oblyakov tackle eight yards out, Gent very likely would have pulled one back on the twentieth minute.

Gent did get their goal three minutes after the halftime break, with Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe giving his side the slimmest amount of hope. That hope was dashed when Oblyakov killed the game off with five minutes to go with a long rage effort.

It was a performance to be proud of for CSKA Moscow, who were missing a number of key players across the two legs. Both Mário Fernandes and Georgy Schennikov missed both legs with a virus and twisted ankle respectively. Whilst Fedor Chalov missed the second leg due to a groin strain. Chalov is expected to miss up to six weeks of action due to his injury and therefore is likely to miss the tie with Inter Milan, a massive blow for Luke Hendricks team.

But Hendricks wasn’t to be downbeat and praised his much changed side following the game.

“I’m pleased, very pleased. We had a number of players missing across both legs and had to move some players into unfamiliar positions. Chancel (Mbemba) played at right back in both games, something he isn’t usually required to do, but he was brilliant. Nikola (Vlasic) played very well today and he can hopefully keep that up. Whilst a special mention needs to go to Ivan Oblyakov. If he hadn’t made that tackle, despite being 3-0 up at that point, the game could have changed very quickly. Overall I am delighted with our two performances, especially with the time off we had between now and our last competitive game.”

CSKA Moscow’s ‘pleasing performance’ see’s them drawn against Serie A side, Inter Milan, who overcame Stade Rennais 5-1 on aggregate in their First Round Knockout tie. Having finished third in their Champions League Group, containing Atlético de Madrid (who topped the group) PSG and Genk, Inter were placed into the Europa League.

Led by an attack of Romelu Lukaku, who left Manchester United in the summer, and Lautaro Martínez, CSKA will have a lot on their hands. The Serie A, top two goal scorers, with Lukaku tied for first spot with Cristiano Ronaldo, are backed up by a strong defense. Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij and Diego Godín will prove very tough to pass for an already weakened CSKA attack.

A battle against Antonio Conte will be one that Luke Hendricks looks forward to but first he will need to focus on a top two battle with current Russian Premier League leaders, Spartak Moscow, as they host their local rivals in just over a weeks time.

Replies


Scott:A good window overall for CSKA in my opinion.
A fantastic aggregate score-line against a decent opponent. Inter will be a huge test... I think this one could be a bit too much for Luke's side.
Let's hope CSKA can Inter into the next round

Maksim Smirnov - A very tough month to kick off the second half of the season for us, with just the one win in five. Draws against Spartak Moscow and Sochi with a win against Tambov in the league keeps us second but falling to seven points behind the league leaders. Whilst we were also knocked out of the Europa League losing 3-0 on aggregate to a tough Inter Milan side.


Sergei Titov - The month started off with our massive top of the table clash against Spartak Moscow. Before we even kicked off we had a huge injury list to contend with, with Luis Olivera, Lucas Santos, Alan Dzagoev and Georgy Schennikov all needing to pass late fitness tests. Whilst Fedor Chalov, Ilja Pomazun and Hörður Björgvin Magnússon all ruled out of the game with various injuries. The injuries didn’t stop there as Arnór Sigurðsson and Volodymyr Shepelev ended the game with an injury. It’s something we will be discussing today as the problem continued throughout the month.

Vadik Vassily - Despite the injuries to some very important players, we dominated the match and deserved to win but we were missing our clinical edge. We kept them to just two shots on target, whilst having eleven of our own shots needing to be stopped by the Spartak keeper. It was a disappointment to not come out with what we felt was three deserved points, but a draw against top of the table isn’t too much of a concern.

Maksim Smirnov - Following on from that very tough fixture against league leaders Spartak, we had an even tougher test, Inter Milan. We started off rather sluggish, still feeling the effects of the Winter break, and Inter made us pay, two quick goals inside thirty minutes saw us go behind. But the boys showed great resilience. We created a number of chances and made Inter work hard for their win, with many claiming Diego Godín deserved the Man of the Match award for his defensive efforts.

Sergei Titov - Despite losing it was an impressive performance, and with the two legs only being separated by a game against relegation battling Tambov, we still had a chance. That game against Tambov should our quality as a midfield masterclass from Alan Dzagoev, in his first league start in over a year, and Man of the Match Ivan Oblyakov, guided us to a 3-1 win. Dzagoev opened the scoring before setting up both Oblyakov and Ilzat Akhmetov for a routine victory.

Vadik Vassily - We then had the away leg of our Europa League Second Knockout Round tie. We once again fought hard, but fell to a 48th minute strike from Lautaro Martínez, ultimately losing the tie 3-0 on aggregate.

Maksim Smirnov - To round up the month we had a disappointing result against Sochi who are in the relegation zone. It was yet another match where a struggling team have put two defensive midfielders out against us and shut up shop. It begs the question, are we missing a creative spark?

Vadik Vassily - I don’t think we are, we still create chances, but we just can’t finish them off for some reason. We had thirteen shots in the Sochi game, six being on target, so we are still creating.

Sergei Titov - Having shots isn’t necessarily what matters Vadik. We are having shots, yes, but the majority are from long range and not causing any problems for the keeper. This month we created just three clear cut chances in five games, with one of those being Dzagoev’s penalty against Tambov. Despite saying that, I think the problem ultimately lies with the sheer amount of injuries we are getting. Arnór Sigurðsson, without a doubt our most creative player has missed over six weeks of the season with injuries, and is still out at the moment. Fedor Chalov has just returned from three weeks out injured and still needs time to get back into the swing of things. Vlasic, Akhmetov, Fernandes, all have missed significant time, it’s the injuries we need to look at.

Maksim Smirnov - It is a point well raised Sergei. Since Luke took over on June 3rd 2019, we have had a total of 49 injuries in the first team squad, with an average time out being over two weeks at a time. It says to me we can’t get any sort of consistency going as the team is always needing to be changed and it is something the club really needs to look at. Almost half of the injuries we have suffered this season (22) have been muscle related injuries, either strains, pulls or tightness. It suggests the players are either working too hard in training or aren’t getting adequate attention in recovery. We need to sort it out sooner rather than later.

Vadik Vassily - Whilst it has been a tough month, who do we think is deserving of the Player of the Month award?

Sergei Titov - Has to be Alan Dzagoev. He has come back from a horrible injury that kept him out for almost an entire calendar year and now aged 29, you wouldn’t have been surprised to see him only contribute very little. But since his return last month he has been very impressive. Two goals in the warmups and a goal and two assists in six games since we returned to competitive action, three of those games coming from the bench.

Vadik Vassily - Alan has shown his old quality that is for sure, he certainly won’t be the same player as he was in his prime, but he still works just as hard. He will also be a massive player for the dressing room and we have to be impressed with how well he has done this month after coming back from a very serious injury.

Maksim Smirnov - It’s unlikely he ever manages to force his way back into the Russian side, but that can only be good for us as we are able to use all of his quality. I agree with Alan winning this month's Player of the Month.


Looking ahead to April, the penultimate month in Luke Hendricks debut campaign as our manager, we have another tough one ahead of us. Two massive fixtures against Zenit, which have constantly been moved back due to various competition clashes. Home games against Dynamo Moscow, Rostov and Rubin Kazan, whilst an away trip to Akhmat will see off the month. What do we think the month ahead has in store for us?


Sergei Titov - Zenit is bound to be a fascinating contest on both occasions. I can’t make up my mind if having them so close together is going to cause even more passion or not, but you can be sure with Luke’s history, he will have them riled up. Dynamo beat us in the cup and I know Luke isn’t happy about that still so again it’ll be a fierce game, whilst Rostov, Rubin Kazan and Akhmat are teams I think we should be beating. It should be a tough month but I expect 14 points from it.

Vadik Vassily - I think it’ll only fire everyone up even more, no matter what the first result is for those Zenit games. I am looking forward to this month and if we can keep a fully fit squad, which doesn’t seem likely based on this year, I think we could go unbeaten and take 16 points from it.

Maksim Smirnov - Well there we have it, another exciting month to come. For now, thank you for watching.

*Taken from CSKA Armiya Youtube Channel posted 22nd March 2020*

Replies


Scott:You were right, it was one too far for us, but despite the scoreline we were competitive in both games and that is something to be impressed with.
Syb:I blame the puns for our failings.
OMG dude, you make my story look amateur, your writing is incredible! absolutely love this
A tough run there, but dropping points against Sochi must have been disappointing for Luke and his side. Injuries have certainly played their part over the course of the season and have blighted the team at times.

Looking ahead, Luke will be absolutely desperate to extract his revenge over Zenit. It's a big month for the team, indeed.
March seems to be the month where you lost the title! One win in five - despite it being in different competitions - is not title-chasing form at all. Another seriously tough month coming up, too. Good luck!

A Day to Forget


19 April 2020

Having left Zenit St. Petersburg in 2010, Luke had been back to a stadium he once called home many times as a CSKA Moscow player. The hatred between player and club had always been evident and when Luke made his feelings clear about the club in an interview before his first return back in 2011, war was declared on the South African by the Zenit fans. The abuse was thrown at him throughout the ninety minutes, it never phased the winger though, as it fuelled Luke forward, enjoying many wins away to his former side.

But today was different, he was returning as a manager for the first time. It wasn’t down to Luke to produce on the pitch, but he still knew he would be the focus of the fans attacks. That was quickly proven as the team bus turned the corner for the final few hundred meters to the Gazprom Arena.

The roads were flooded with Zenit fans, as blue and white flares turned the air into a Zenit mix. Stones and bottle caps thrown against the bus could be heard from the inside, but just like it had as a player, the early abuse had fired Luke up.

“Right lads, you can see they don’t like us, good thing we don’t give a fuck what they like. This is our game here, we go out and we take it to them, we saw the other week when we started getting in on them and putting some challenges in, their lot backed off. They don’t have what you boys do, the passion, the desire to fight for it. Don’t let this lot stop that, they are harmless the lot of them, I’ve had it for years, as have a lot of you, ignore them. Go out there and shut them up.” called out Luke before he indicated to the driver to open the bus doors.

Stepping off the bus, leading his side out, Luke was the target off many bottles and coins being launched his way by angered Zenit fans as they screamed whatever abuse they could come up with. Once security had finally reacted, Luke was guided into the stadium with slightly more protection, but that didn’t stop a child, no older than seven, sticking his middle fingers up in Luke’s direction. The sight of a little boy sitting on his father's shoulders sticking his middle fingers up, gave Luke a slight smile. The kid wasn’t even old enough to know what had happened all those years ago, thought Luke as he stepped into the away changing rooms.

Having warmed up and gone through their final preparations, Luke gave his side one final rallying call. Today wasn’t just a big game due to the club's history, but it would also see one of the two sides slip out of the Champions League spots. Just two wins in their last six, CSKA had struggled of late and that was Luke’s biggest concern, securing the top three spot they had looked set on all season. Today’s result would go a long way to achieving that.

As his team made their way onto the pitch, Luke stepped through the tunnel, exposing himself to even more abuse.This time to a group of 55,000 instead of a couple thousand at best earlier in the day. Walking towards his seat in the dugout, Luke felt something fly past his face, just missing the manager's cheek. Looking at the ground it was clear someone from above had spat at him with other objects following.

The abuse didn’t stop. Coins, bottlecaps, any object that could be thrown, were thrown in Luke's direction with verbal abuse being echoed throughout the stadium. With minutes to go before the end of a deadlocked, 0-0, first half, Luke heard the first bit of racism.

“Oi monkey boy!” screamed a fan sitting just behind the CSKA bench. “Oooo ooo ah ah” was followed, with Luke turning to see a group of people imitating monkeys.

He couldn’t let it show, but deep down it angered him. Racist abuse was something Luke had to deal with growing up as a child, with his birth coinciding with South Africa leaving the Apartheid era. Although on paper that was a massive step away from the racism seen before, racist abuse never ceased. With many of the older generation of white South Africans unable to accept the new way forward for the country. Luke had dealt with it before, but he had never received the abuse doing something he loved. But Luke suppressed the hurt and pain that was building inside of him as the halftime whistle blew.

The second half started out much the same, with Luke receiving verbal abuse with things continuing to be thrown at him. Luke was adamant to not let the anger he was feeling be shown, aiming to stay calm and collected on the touchline. Then disaster hit for his side, as Branislav Ivanovic rose highest from a corner and headed home the opener for Zenit.

Luke prowled the touchline, still hiding the emotion flowing through his body. Despite going behind, the goal had seemingly woken his team up, with more and more pressure being piled onto the home side. With a good save made from Stanislav Kritsyuk, the ball was cleared out to Zenit star Malcom. With the Brazilian winger having the speed advantage over Luis Olivera, the Argentine left back made an inch perfect slide tackle.

However, despite clearly winning the ball, referee Pavel Kukuyan, deemed the tackle a second bookable offense, with Olivera being sent off. Luke’s built up anger spilt over, screaming at the referee showing his clear dissatisfaction with the red card. A heated Luke, spurred the Zenit crowd on, with more and more fans joining in with monkey noises, with the abuse being made clear to everyone.

Luke’s focus was gone, it was the first time he had allowed for aspects outside of the game to get the better of him, with another poor referee decision going against his side, allowing Zenit to score their second from the penalty spot, Luke was stunned.

The game was wrapped up five minutes later as Luke’s old foe’s ran away 3-0 victors. A dismal day for Luke’s side, giving the first year manager a lot to think about. Having completed his media duties reluctantly, Luke walked towards his changing room, one man was standing by the door.

“How’d you enjoy that one then you little shit? Always good to have some extra cash laying around, never know when you may need it” called out Boyra Uys, indicating he had bribed the referee, as he winked at Luke.

Already frustrated with what had happened throughout the game, Luke ignored his former employer, barging past the much taller man. Uys didn’t try to stop him as he went to walk off, before turning.

“Oh and Luke, how’s that knee of yours”

Replies


Villa: Thanks for the compliment mate, but thoroughly enjoying your story myself!
Scott:It's been tough with the injuries in all honesty, nonetheless we shouldn't be dropping points to Sochi. Yeah about that revenge on them...
Jack:A disappointing return to league action indeed. Need to be much better than this performance for the rest of the season if we have any hope of a title challenge!
There's a massive sense of irony in all this given Malcolm is on the Zenit books and is, err, black? Some very backwards supporters propped-up by a backwards man in Uys.

A massively disappointing defeat.
Had a good catch up on this story @TheLFCFan and loved the variance of update styles. Nice to see some progression in the EL so far and hopefully you can keep pushing for the title although unlikely this season at least.
Awful the loss in itself but the hatred shown towards Luke from the Zenit fans is awful as it is mainly fuelled by Uys' money rather than Luke having done something bad towards Zenit. Uys is scum.

Maksim Smirnov - April has come to an end, with a month of mixed results, three wins, two draws and a game to forget against Zenit St Petersburg, marred in disgraceful scenes from their fans.



Sergei Titov - The month started off with what had been looked forward to ever since Luke was appointed as the manager. Zenit at home. Despite being on top in the early stages of the game, we couldn’t convert the chances we were creating. They made us pay, with Malcom scoring two inside a minute, giving them a lead just ten minutes into the second half. Mbemba, who was playing at right back due to Mário Fernandes sustaining an injury on international duty days before the Zenit game seeing him out for four weeks, struggled to deal with Malcom, who was a constant threat for the away side. But we never looked like a beaten side with Ivan Oblyakov very quickly pulling one back. Then with just ten minutes to play, we caught them on the counter. A Malcom freekick was headed clear where Lucas Santos picked the ball up on the edge of the box. The Braziian ran through with no challenges towards him. With one defender to beat, Lucas passed him with ease before sliding the ball into the far corner, sending the crowd into pandemonium. You could see how much it meant to Luke as he ran down the touchline to celebrate with his side, quickly receiving a caution from the officials.

Vadik Vassily - It was a really great moment. Luke just running down the touchline and celebrating with the team, it shows how connected they are as a group and how much they all love representing this club.

Coming off that comeback, we had a local derby, against Dynamo Moscow. There was no need for a comeback this time as we took the lead on the seventeenth minute through Lucas Santos. Sylvester Igboun equalised for them just before halftime but second half goals from Fedor Chalov and Victor Vasin ensured all three points.

Maksim Smirnov - Having played well against Dynamo we came up against Rostov and once again played magnificently well. Up until the 81st minute. Lucas Santos, Nikola Vlasic and Lassana N'Diaye gave us a three goal lead with just nine to play. Somehow, we managed to throw the game away with Rostov scoring seconds after the restart following Lassana’s goal, before adding two inside stoppage time, to grab the most unlikely point.

Sergei Titov - I still don’t know what happened in that game. It was so comfortable, the game was wrapped up, but we lost concentration. It’s the second time we have thrown away a lead having been two or more goals up with ten or less minutes to play, costing us four points, which could be massive towards the end of the season.

Vadik Vassily - The disappointing draw didn’t seem to have much of an impact on us as we went into the away game against Zenit. But a mixture of horrific abuse directed mainly towards Luke as well as some absurd referee decisions led to a poor 3-0 loss. Sitting in the ground you could hear the constant racist abuse directed towards Luke whilst objects were thrown in his direction. The Russian Football Union has fined Zenit $2,500 and enforced a closure of one of the stadiums sections for the rest of the season.

Maksim Smirnov - With some poor results in the month, we responded from that Zenit game with a huge 4-0 dismantling of Rubin Kazan. Fedor Chalov opened the scoring with eighteen seconds on the clock, a new record for the fastest goal in Russian football. The striker didn’t slow either, scoring twice more on route to the victory, picking up his hattrick and taking his season tally to eleven. Chancel Mbemba, still playing at right back also got himself on the scoreline having made a late run into the box and slotting home from a Fedor Chalov cross.

Sergei Titov - Our final game of the month saw a magical moment with Georgy Schennikov scoring a 93rd minute winner. Having suffered a broken ankle and missing five months of action, Georgy was given just his second start of the season and he was clearly delighted with his contribution, running to long-time friend Luke Hendricks as the pair embraced in celebration.

Maksim Smirnov - It was another moment that showed just how tight this group is, something that Luke himself commented on.

Luke Hendricks:
“I think one of the most important things for a football club is to have an understanding and togetherness. By enjoying the environment you are in and having tight relationships with everyone you are working with performances are improved, thus helping results. The players work hard every day in training and put their all into the games come matchday and I am delighted to see just how close this group is.”


Maksim Smirnov - Player of the month then, who are you putting forward?

Vadik Vassily - I’d love to say Chancel Mbemba as he has done well at right back after Fernandes, injury. He has scored once and assisted twice but when you are involved in a backline that concedes five goals in four games, I don’t think you can win it. Therefore I will say Fedor Chalov. Fedor has four goals and an assist to his name this month and his hattrick against Kazan was desperately needed following some poor results recently. He has seventeen goals in all competitions this season and I think his contributions are only going to improve.

Sergei Titov - Fedor is certainly only going to get better, he’s still only 22. Some forget how young he is due to just how long he’s been around for, as he’s been in the first team and playing significant minutes for four years now. His Russia record is also very impressive and with a good European Championships, we may struggle to keep him in the summer.


Maksim Smirnov - To end our monthly review, let's take a look ahead to next month. Three massive games in our bid to get a Champions League place. FC Ufa at home, Lokomotiv Moscow and Arsenal Tula away to see our season off. Thoughts on what we have coming up?


Sergei Titov - I think we need to win all three, I can’t see Lokomotiv losing their other two and Zenit won’t lose any of their last four. They’ve only dropped four points from a possible 27 since the winter break. So yes, three wins will be imperative in my opinion.

Vadik Vassily - Obviously the Lokomotiv game is the big one but I agree three wins from three is needed, especially since the difference between 2nd and 3rd is automatically getting into the Group Stage and having to play four extra games in qualifiers.

Maksim Smirnov - Both predicting three from three and automatically getting into the group stages of next year's Champions League. But that’s all the time we have for now, we will see you next time.

*Taken from CSKA Armiya Youtube Channel posted 27th April 2020*

Replies


Scott:I seem to remember their fans directing racist abuse at him when he first signed! It was a hard result to take for sure.
Imagine:With Spartak needing just one more win, the league certainly seems out of the question! Thank you for the kind words.
Jack:We all hate Uys! 100% Scum!
Firstly, I am appalled to read of the Russian FA's supposed disciplinary actions taken towards the racism endured by Luke from the Zenit supporters. The fee is an absolute joke and highlights the lack of serious action being taken in Russia. Although, had this been another side aside from Zenit, could the ban have been harsher? Potentially.

On the pitch, results have been mixed as we already knew. Three points against Rostov could have been absolutely massive in CSKA's season, but they are still in control of their fate heading into the final three fixtures of the season. It's a shame that Zenit appear likely to leap-frog either yourselves or Lokomotiv into the Champions League spots given their generous run-in in comparison. As long as Luke's team get the job done, that's all that matters.

Good luck to them...

The Race for Champions League


Spartak Moscow have officially wrapped up the Rosgosstrakh Chempionat Rossii for only the second time since 2001. Off the back of André Schürrle’s incredible performances throughout the season, scoring fifteen in twenty league games, Spartak ran away with the title not giving up the top spot since claiming it in gameweek twelve.

Despite the clear dominance of Spartak, the places for second and third have been contested in a very tight battle throughout the season. In the last ten gameweeks, four sides have been battling it out for two spots, with CSKA Moscow, Zenit St. Petersburg, Lokomotiv Moscow and Dynamo Moscow, all in contention. With a game to go, all four are still within a chance of finishing in the top three, however, it would take a miracle for Dynamo to receive a Champions League place.

The three sides who have a realistic chance of the top three are CSKA Moscow, Zenit and Lokomotiv Moscow, all sitting within a point of each other.

The Situation as it Stands



CSKA Moscow currently sit second and in pole position for one of the two available places for Champions League football next season. Zenit, who have had a worrying drop in form over the last four games, winning just one, losing to Krylya Sovetov who are currently 10th and only managing a draw against already relegated and bottom placed Orenburg, are third. Lokomotiv are in the best form of the three over the last six, only dropping points in their last game against CSKA Moscow and currently sit in fourth.

CSKA Moscow



It has been a bumpy first season for Luke Hendricks as the manager of CSKA Moscow, with his team sometimes lacking consistency. With Zenit struggling of late, CSKA have been able to take back the 2nd spot going into the last game of the season. Having beaten FC Ufa comfortably at the start of the month with Victor Vasin, Fedor Chalov, Ivan Oblyakov and Chancel Mbemba getting on the scoresheet in a 4-1 win, CSKA travelled to Lokomotiv Moscow. A 1-1 draw disappointed Luke, especially going ahead through Nikola Vlasic, as a win would have secured a Champions League spot a week earlier.

But the draw keeps CSKA in an ideal position with their final game coming up against Arsenal Tula. It’s a fixture that won’t bring back many memories at all for CSKA fans, with a dull 0-0 draw taking place earlier this season.

Zenit St. Petersburg



Zenit had a poor start to the season under former manager Sergey Semak, winning just ten of their first eighteen league games. With the sacking of Semak, Leonid Slutsky, former CSKA Moscow and Russia manager, took charge following the winter break. Following the end of that break Zenit won seven of their next eight culminating with a massive 3-0 home victory over Luke Hendricks side.

Following that win a loss to Sovetov as well as draws to Orenburg and Krasnodar have seen Slutsky’s side fall off. Unlike the other two, Zenit also has the distraction of the Kubok Rossii final, against Dynamo Moscow, to contend with. That game will take place on Wednesday, with Zenit then welcoming Tambov, in a game they will be expected to win comfortably.

Lokomotiv Moscow



Just five games ago, Lokomotiv were in 5th place and looking unlikely to be anywhere near the top three come the end of the season. But a run of five wins and a single draw in their last six has seen them tied on points with Zenit. Having pulled the goal back against CSKA Moscow, Lokomotiv will have the trickiest of final games out of the three, having to play Krasnodar who currently sit 6th.

Lokomotiv Moscow will however, have happy memories of this fixture so far this season with a win against their opponents in the away game. Japanese international Shoya Nakajima will be key to the team as he has all season with nine goals and six assists to his name.

The Scenarios

CSKA Moscow Qualify


  • CSKA would qualify for the Champions League and finish in 2nd place with a victory over Arsenal Tula, no matter the other two’s results.
  • A CSKA Moscow draw would require at least one of Zenit or Lokomotiv Moscow to drop points (Draw or Lose) in their fixture.
  • If CSKA Moscow loses, they will need either Zenit St. Petersburg to lose or for Lokomotiv Moscow to draw.

Zenit St. Petersburg Qualify

  • Zenit will qualify for the Champions League with a win no matter the scoreline as they have a better head to head record against both CSKA Moscow and Lokomotiv Moscow.
  • A Zenit draw would require either CSKA Moscow to lose their fixture or for Lokomotiv Moscow to drop points against Krasnodar.
  • A Zenit loss would require Lokomotiv Moscow to also draw their fixture and would mean Zenit can’t finish in second, no matter CSKA Moscow’s result.

Lokomotiv Moscow

  • A Lokomotiv Moscow win wouldn’t guarantee them Champions League football, as they would need Zenit to drop points in their game.
  • A Lokomotiv Moscow draw would ensure they can’t finish above CSKA Moscow as CSKA have a better head to head record. Lokomotiv would require a Zenit loss to finish in the top three.
  • If Lokomotiv Moscow lose their fixture, they are unable to finish in the top three, no matter the other two’s results.

With a massive weekend of football on it’s way, we look forward to seeing who is able to gain a place and represent Russia in next season's Champions League, alongside Spartak Moscow.

Replies


Scott:It seems that Boyra may have his hand in the Russian Football Union, so who knows maybe the punishment would of been a lot stronger. However, I agree with the lack of serious action being taken is disgusting.

It's all got very tight in regards to Champions League spots ahead of the last game of the season. Can we do it is the question?

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