Football returns to the Russians: who will compete with Zenit


How quickly ended our domestic football off-season. Only recently, just a month and a half ago, we played the previous championship, and it’s time to start a new one. And again look for an answer to the question – who will finally be able to impose a fight on the permanent leader of recent years – Zenit.

Surprisingly, but this time there are indeed such prospects for several clubs at once.

Spartak did a good job of preparing, bought several good players. And the last match against Neftchi showed that the team is in good shape. Both physical and moral.

Lokomotiv did not make any special acquisitions, however, in the second half of last season, they frankly pleased with their game. And this lineup has been preserved. So Dziuba, and Pinyaev, and Barinov will certainly terrify the defense of opponents under the guidance of their talented head coach Mikhail Galaktionov.

Dynamo has a new coach who has already proved himself well in Orenburg. With the players at his disposal, Marcel Lichka is quite capable of at least repeating the achievement of the championship before last, when Dynamo took bronze medals.

CSKA is also quite strong. And it will become even stronger during the tournament – this has happened more than once with the army team. Even if at the beginning of the tournament or in the middle of it the team had a recession, then they can and can finish powerfully in the army club. We wrote in more detail about the capabilities of all these teams in one of the previous issues of MK.

But there is also Rostov, and Krasnodar, and Akhmat, and Rubin, who returned to the Premier League. Yes, and all other clubs are also set not to serve a number in the top division.

So our undisputed champion may be in trouble. Moreover, the problems are primarily of an internal nature – after all, managing such a team, and even constantly feeling pressure from both the fans and the club management, for whom now there is only first place, is very difficult. But Sergey Semak has also shown us all more than once that he can cope with any difficulties. And this is good.

It is also good that the football leadership is only experimenting with the Russian Cup so far, changing its format, terms and number of participants. And our championship remains unchanged – 16 clubs, two rounds, 240 matches.

By the way, cup matches for RPL teams also begin immediately after the start of the championship – already in the middle of next week. And here the main thing is to correctly distribute forces, not to overstrain. Nobody is going to spare each other.


We asked well-known football experts and fans to tell us about their expectations from the starting Russian championship.

“I look forward to this holiday with great impatience. Already bored. Summer and football are interconnected. I am in anticipation. I would like to see the ambitions of the teams. Despite the difficulties of the international situation, our football still gives us joy and intrigue. And the championship will be really interesting.

I am a Torpedo fan. This season my team, unfortunately, performs in a different, lighter weight category. I believe that we will return to the Premier League, the team is mobilized for this task. But I will also watch the Premier League with interest, because football is a pleasure.

I’m still looking forward to new names. I always root for guys who show promise. And we have openings every season. Moreover, now there is a certain outflow of legionnaires. This means that there are places for talented Russian youth, ”said Alexander Shaganov, a popular songwriter, about his expectations from the starting championship.

“I look forward to the return of Russian football. Missed him for a month and a half break. So it’s already a holiday.

The teams have grown significantly in the off-season. And the competition in the struggle for the first place should be high. As well as for other prizes. I think that Lokomotiv, Dynamo, CSKA and Krasnodar will fight with Zenit. And the quality of football must be good.

I don’t miss a single Lokomotiv game, I keep a close eye on the team. I know the head coach. I played for this team myself. And this season will be very interesting to watch them. It’s one thing when last season it was necessary to keep a place in the Premier League. And now the team has already declared itself, has certain ambitions. And most importantly, the game shows that Loko can already storm a place in the top three in this championship, ”said Evgeny Mileshkin, the USSR Cup winner with Dynamo, the silver medalist of the USSR championship with Spartak, the former captain of Lokomotiv, president of FSM FC Evgeny Mileshkin.

“In the new championship, I expect that one of the clubs will compete with Zenit and show good football.

I will watch with interest how the top five play – in addition to the St. Petersburg club Spartak, CSKA, Lokomotiv and Dynamo, – Dmitry Bulykin, a former football player of the Russian national team, a three-time winner of the Russian Cup, the champion of the Netherlands, shared his expectations.


July 21, Friday

Dynamo – Krasnodar

July 22, Saturday


Nizhny Novgorod – Zenit

Lokomotiv – Rubin

“Akhmat” – “Wings of the Soviets”

July 23, Sunday

Spartak – Orenburg

Sochi – Baltika

Rostov – Fakel

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