FC Rostov host Lokomotiv Moscow as the Russian Premier League resumes after the international break, with both sides not far away from each other in the table. Lokomotiv will be hoping to end a run of disappointing results and leapfrog the home side with a win, while Rostov will be glad to hold on to sixth place.
The international break came at the wrong moment for Rostov as Valeri Karpin's charges had witnessed an upturn in form after a dismal start to the season. Wins over Ural and FC Ufa were followed by a well-fought 1-1 draw away to Krasnodar.
Lokomotiv Moscow, on the other hand, followed their disappointing 1-2 derby loss away to league leaders Spartak with another dismal defeat, going down 2-3 to FK Akhmat.
A goalless draw at home to Zenit did little to raise the mood going into the international break, which was further compounded by departures from the club in the transfer market.
FC Rostov vs Lokomotiv Moscow Head-to-Head
Rostov have only managed two wins over Lokomotiv in the last 10 games between the pair, the most recent being their 1-2 win away at Moscow last season.
Lokomotiv were convincing 3-1 winners away from home the last time these two sides met in March, extending their dominance in this fixture to six wins out of 10, with only two draws between the pair.
FC Rostov form guide: L-L-W-W-D
Lokomotiv Moscow form guide: W-D-L-L-D
FC Rostov vs Lokomotiv Moscow Team News
Valeri Karpin would have been glad to see two of his charges, Alexey Ionov and David Toshevski, earn caps during the international break, but with a potentially tough UEFA Europa League qualification fixture against Maccabi Haifa on the horizon, he may opt to rotate.
Pavel Mamaev missed the last round of games before the break and has yet to recover, so Kento Hashimoto may continue in midfield in his stead. Dmitry Chistyakov remains on the sidelines with a long-term injury.
Injuries: Dmitry Chistyakov
Doubtful: Pavel Mamaev
Marko Nikolic will have to rejig his starting lineup with the departure of creative lynchpin Aleksey Miranchuk to Atalanta for a reported €15 million fee. Daniil Kulikov will come in to add defensive steel to the midfield, with creative responsibilities perhaps coming from wider areas.
Long-term injuries remain, while Dmitry Zhivoglyadov will not be available for this match as his recovery continues.
Injuries: Dimitri Barinov, Luka Djordjevic
Doubtful: Dmitry Zhivoglyadov
FC Rostov vs Lokomotiv Moscow Predicted Lineups
FC Rostov predicted XI (4-5-1): Sergey Pesyakov (GK); Alexey Kozlov, Dennis Hadzikadunic, Maksim Osipenko, Yevgeny Chernov; Aleksey Ionov, Kento Hashimoto, Mathias Normann, Roman Eremenko, Khoren Bayramyan; Eldor Shomurodov
Locomotiv Moscow predicted XI (4-5-1): Guilherme (GK); Vladislav Ignatiev, Vedran Corluka, Murilo Cerqueira, Maciej Rybus; Dmitri Rybchinskiy, Gregorz Krychowiak, Daniil Kulikov, Stanislav Magkeev, Rifat Zhemaletdinov; Fedor Smolov
FC Rostov vs Lokomotiv Moscow Prediction
Rostov have the upper hand when it comes to form going into the match, but the home side have struggled to score of late. They have scored four and conceded five in six games this year, but have still managed to earn 10 points. Mathias Normann cannot be relied to provide stunners every game, and they may struggle to breach the Lokomotiv defence.
Losing Miranchuk will no doubt be a blow to Lokomotiv's prospects and with no replacement in sight, the away side may struggle to get on the scoresheet, as Fedor Smolov and Eder have one goal between the pair of them in six matches.
Prediction: FC Rostov 0-0 Lokomotiv MoscowPublished 11 Sep 2020, 20:35 IST