The Russian Premier League is back in action with a highly competitive fixture this weekend as Rubin Kazan host Spartak Moscow at the Ak Bars Arena. Both sides have endured mixed outings so far this season and will look to build a winning streak with a victory in this game.
Rubin Kazan are currently in sixth place in the Russian Premier League standings and have improved over the past few weeks. The home side picked up a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Dynamo Moscow last week and will want to make it two victories from two games against Moscow's giants this weekend.
Spartak Moscow's excellent run of results came to an end last week as the home side suffered a 3-1 defeat against bitter local rivals CSKA Moscow. Spartak Moscow are currently in third place and will look to maintain the pressure on the likes of Zenit Saint Petersburg and PFC Sochi on top of the table.
Rubin Kazan vs Spartak Moscow Head-to-Head
Spartak Moscow have a slight upper hand against Rubin Kazan as far as the head-to-head record is concerned and have won 16 games out of a total of 38 fixtures played between the two teams. Rubin Kazan have managed 12 victories and have troubled Spartak Moscow on a few occasions in the past.
Spartak Moscow and Rubin Kazan played out a 0-0 stalemate in their previous meeting in October last year. Both teams had chances to clinch the victory on the day and will have worked on their final product ahead of this match.
Rubin Kazan form guide in the Russian Premier League: W-D-W-W-L
Spartak Moscow form guide in the Russian Premier League: L-W-W-W-D
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Rubin Kazan vs Spartak Moscow Team News
Rubin Kazan have their fair share of injuries to account for and might not be able to field Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Yuri Dyupin, and Filip Uremovic in this game. Hwang In-Beom picked up a red card against Dynamo Moscow and is suspended for this game.
Doubtful: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Yuri Dyupin, Filip Uremovic
Suspended: Hwang In-Beom
Alexander Selikhov is currently injured and has been ruled out of this game. Star winger Maksim Glushenkov is also recovering from a knee injury and may not feature in the starting line-up.
Injured: Alexander Selikhov
Doubtful: Maksim Glushenkov
Rubin Kazan vs Spartak Moscow Predicted XI
Rubin Kazan Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Nikita Medvedev, Mikhail Merkulov, Silvije Begic, Carl Starfelt, Aleksandr Zuev; Darko Jevtic, Oliver Abildgaard; Soltmurad Bakaev, Oleg Shatov, Denis Makarov; Djorde Despotovic
Spartak Moscow XI (3-4-3): Aleksandr Maksimenko; Georgi Dzhikiya, Samuel Gigot, Pavel Maslov; Ayrton Lucas, Nail Umyarov, Alex Kral, Roman Zobnin; Zelimkhan Bakaev, Ezequiel Ponce, Jordan Larsson
Rubin Kazan vs Spartak Moscow Prediction
Rubin Kazan and Spartak Moscow are evenly matched on paper but are equally unpredictable on the pitch. Spartak Moscow's recent form may give them the upper hand but Rubin Kazan have plenty of attacking prowess in their team and can pose a threat in the final third.
Spartak Moscow will rely heavily on Ezequiel Ponce and Jordan Larsson to do the heavy lifting this weekend. Rubin Kazan might find themselves on the back foot for large periods of the game but are perfectly capable of pulling off a result in their own backyard.
Prediction: Rubin Kazan 1-1 Spartak Moscow
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