The Russian Premier League returns to the fold with an interesting set of fixtures this week as Zenit Saint Petersburg take on FC Khimki at the Arena Khimki on Sunday. Both sides have been off the pace in recent weeks and have a point to prove in this game.
FC Khimki currently find themselves dangerously close to the bottom of the table and are in desperate need of a string of victories. The home side picked up a crucial 2-0 victory against FC Rostov last week and faces an uphill task this weekend.
Zenit Saint Petersburg have conceded their position at the top of the Russian Premier League standings to Spartak Moscow and CSKA Moscow and need a victory in this game to sustain their title defence. The away side was defeated by Rubin Kazan last week and has not been at its best this month.
FC Khimki vs Zenit Saint Petersburg Head-to-Head
Zenit Saint Petersburg have a near-flawless record against FC Khimki in the Russian Premier League and have won seven out of eight games against the home side. FC Khimki have never defeated Zenit Saint Petersburg in an official fixture and will want to improve their record on Sunday.
The previous meeting between these two sides earlier this year resulted in a narrow 1-0 victory for Zenit Saint Petersburg. Artem Dzyuba scored a penalty on the day and will want to get his name on the scoresheet yet again this weekend.
FC Khimki form guide in the Russian Premier League: W-L-D-L-L
Zenit Saint Petersburg form guide in the Russian Premier League: L-W-D-W-D
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FC Khimki vs Zenit Saint Petersburg Team News
FC Khimki will have to deal with the absence of several key players in this game. Arshak Koryan and Reziuan Mirzov are injured and remain doubtful for this game. Danil Kazantsev is recovering from a long-term injury and has been ruled out against Zenit Saint Petersburg.
Injured: Danil Kazantsev
Doubtful: Arshak Koryan, Arseni Logashov
Zenit Saint Petersburg
Zenit Saint Petersburg will be unable to field Malcom against FC Khimki. Sardar Azmoun is not fully fit at the moment and remains a doubt for this game. Wendel has joined the club from Sporting Lisbon and is set to start for Zenit Saint Petersburg this weekend.
Doubtful: Sardar Azmoun
FC Khimki vs Zenit Saint Petersburg Predicted XI
Zenit Saint Petersburg Predicted XI (4-4-2): Mikhail Kerzhakov; Douglas Santos, Dejan Lovren, Yaroslav Rakitskiy, Vyacheslav Karavaev; Yuri Zhirkov, Wendel, Magomed Ozdoev, Aleksandr Erokhin; Sebastian Driussi, Artem Dzyuba
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
FC Khimki vs Zenit Saint Petersburg Prediction
Zenit Saint Petersburg have an array of attacking talent in their ranks and hold the upper hand going into this game. Star striker Artem Dzyuba has an excellent record against FC Khimki and will want to make an impact on his side's game this weekend.
FC Khimki have had their fair share of defensive issues this season and have several problems to resolve ahead of this fixture. Zenit Saint Petersburg will want to return to the top of the table and should be able to win this game.
Prediction: Zenit Saint Petersburg 3-1 FC Khimki
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