The Russian Premier League is back in action this weekend as FC Khimki host a formidable Spartak Moscow side at the Arena Khimki. The two sides find themselves at opposite ends of the table and the gulf in quality is fairly evident ahead of this game.
Spartak Moscow are currently in second place in the Russian Premier League table and are level on points with Zenit Saint Petersburg. Domenico Tedesco's side managed a 1-1 draw against the league leaders before the international break and will want to pick up a victory in this game.
FC Khimki, on the other hand, find themselves dangerously close to the bottom of the Russian Premier League table and will need to turn their season around in the coming weeks. The home side suffered a 2-1 defeat against Lokomotiv Moscow in their previous game and will face a difficult challenge this weekend.
FC Khimki vs Spartak Moscow Head-to-Head
Spartak Moscow have a predictably superior record against FC Khimki and have won four out of a total of five matches played between the two sides in the Russian Premier League. FC Khimki have managed only one draw and will need a miracle against the Russian giants this weekend.
FC Khimki have spent only three years in Russia's top flight and their previous meeting against Spartak Moscow in 2009 resulted in a resounding 3-0 defeat. The home side have improved over the past decade but are unlikely to trouble Spartak Moscow on Saturday.
FC Khimki form guide in the Russian Premier League: L-W-L-W-L
Spartak Moscow form guide in the Russian Premier League: D-W-W-W-L
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FC Khimki vs Spartak Moscow Team News
FC Khimki will have to deal with the absence of several key players in this game. Aleksandr Filin, Arshak Koryan, and Reziuan Mirzov are injured and remain doubtful for this game. Dmitri Tikhiy has accumulated four yellow cards and is suspended for this fixture.
Injured: Danil Kazantsev
Doubtful: Aleksandr Filin, Arshak Koryan, Reziuan Mirzov
Suspended: Dmitri Tikhiy
Georgi Dzhikiya and Maksim Glushenkov are injured and have been ruled out against FC Khimki. Aleksandr Sobolev picked up a yellow card in his previous game and cannot play a part in this fixture
Injured: Maksim Glushenkov, Georgi Dzhikiya
Doubtful: Nail Umyarov, Oston Urunov
Suspended: Aleksandr Sobolev
FC Khimki vs Spartak Moscow Predicted XI
FC Khimki Predicted XI (3-4-3): Ilya Lantratov; Evgeni Gapon, Egor Danilkin, Brian Idowu; Danil Lipovoy, Aleksandr Troshechkin, Denis Glushakov, Kirill Bozhenov; Kamran Aliev, Vladimir Dyadyun, Ilya Kukharchuk
Spartak Moscow XI (3-4-3): Aleksandr Maksimenko; Ilya Kutepov, Samuel Gigot, Pavel Maslov; Ayrton Lucas, Andrey Eshchenko, Alex Kral, Roman Zobnin; Zelimkhan Bakaev, Ezequiel Ponce, Jordan Larsson
FC Khimki vs Spartak Moscow Prediction
FC Khimki will have to play the game of their lives this weekend to pull off an upset against Spartak Moscow. The home side did manage a 1-0 victory against Dynamo Moscow last month and will have to pull another rabbit out of their hat this weekend.
Spartak Moscow will see this match as an opportunity to move to the top of the table. The away side has plenty of attacking options at its disposal and should be able to win this game.
Prediction: FC Khimki 1-3 Spartak Moscow