The Russian Premier League returns to the fold this weekend as reigning champions Zenit Saint Petersburg take on Arsenal Tula at the Arsenal Stadium on Saturday. The away side has not been at its best this season and needs to take it up a notch this weekend.
Arsenal Tula have endured a difficult season so far and are now dangerously close to the bottom of the Russian Premier League after a string of disappointing results. The Russian side suffered a 1-0 defeat against Lokomotiv Moscow last week and will look to bounce back on Saturday.
Zenit Saint Petersburg have conceded the top spot in the Russian Premier League to an in-form CSKA Moscow outfit and will need to step up to the plate to retake the lead in the title race. The reigning champions were held to a 2-2 draw in their previous game and cannot afford to drop points against Arsenal Tula.
Arsenal Tula vs Zenit Saint Petersburg Head-to-Head
Zenit Saint Petersburg have an excellent record against Arsenal Tula and have won eight matches out of a total of 12 games in the history of this fixture. Arsenal Tula have managed only three victories against Zenit Saint Petersburg and will put in a good performance this weekend.
The reverse fixture between these two sides earlier this year resulted in an emphatic 3-1 victory for Zenit Saint Petersburg. Andrey Mostovoy and Artem Dzyuba scored on the day and will want to replicate their heroics in this game.
Arsenal Tula form guide in the Russian Premier League: L-D-L-L-W
Zenit Saint Petersburg form guide in the Russian Premier League: D-W-W-L-W
Arsenal Tula vs Zenit Saint Petersburg Team News
Arsenal Tula have a burgeoning list of fitness concerns and will have to do without Kirill Kombarov and Aleksandr Denisov in this fixture. Goran Causic has accumulated four yellow cards and is suspended for his game.
Injured: Kirill Kombarov, Aleksandr Denisov
Doubtful: Evgeni Lutsenko, Maksim Belyaev, Gia Grigalava, Evans Kangwa
Suspended: Goran Causic
Zenit Saint Petersburg
Yaroslav Rakitskiy was sent off against FK Akhmat and is suspended for this game. Wendel, Magomed Ozdoev, and Vyacheslav Karavaev are also dealing with fitness issues and remain doubtful for this game.
Injured: Daniil Kruguvoy
Doubtful: Wendel, Magomed Ozdoev, Vyacheslav Karavaev
Suspended: Yaroslav Rakitskiy
Arsenal Tula vs Zenit Saint Petersburg Predicted XI
Arsenal Tula Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Artur Nigmatullin; Robert Bauer, Aleksandr Dovbnya, Taras Burlak, Nikolay Rasskazov; Abdul Kadiri, Georgi Kostadinov; Daniil Khlusevich, Kirill Panchenko, Alexander Lomovitskiy; Luka Djordjevic
Zenit Saint Petersburg Predicted XI (4-4-2): Mikhail Kerzhakov; Yuri Zhirkov, Dejan Lovren, Dmitri Chistyakov, Daler Kuzyaev; Andrey Mostovoy, Wilmar Barrios, Leon Musaev, Malcom; Aleksandr Erokhin, Artem Dzyuba
Arsenal Tula vs Zenit Saint Petersburg Prediction
Zenit Saint Petersburg have been fairly impressive this season but need to take it up a notch to defend their Russian Premier League title. The reigning champions have Artem Dzyuba and Malcom in their ranks and boast a formidable squad.
Arsenal Tula have been far below their best in recent weeks and cannot afford to lose this game. Zenit Saint Petersburg have a host of impeccable talents and hold the upper hand in this fixture.
Prediction: Arsenal Tula 1-3 Zenit Saint Petersburg