Tambov are struggling in the relegation playoff spots, while Spartak are second to Zenit St-Petersburg on goal difference alone.
Tambov come into the fixture with a relative uptick in form, despite losing 1-0 to Lokomotiv Moscow in their most recent game. A 2-0 win over relegation rivals Ufa was followed by a 2-1 win over third-tier Mashuk KMV in the Russian Cup.
As for Spartak, they bounced back from their 3-1 defeat away to CSKA in the Moscow derby by thrashing Rodina 5-1 in the Russian Cup.
Far more impressive, however, was their 2-0 win away to Rubin Kazan on 20 September. After goals from Jordan Larsson and an own goal put them 2-0 ahead, a red card for Pavel Maslov meant that they faced a barrage of shots from Rubin Kazan in the final 30 minutes, with goalkeeper Aleksandar Maksimenko turning in a man-of-the-match performance.
Tambov vs Spartak Moscow Head-to-Head
Since last year was Tambov’s first in the Russian Premier Liga, the two teams have met each other only twice. Incredibly, Tambov did the double over their much-vaunted rivals, defeating them 2-0 at home before staging an incredible comeback to win 3-2 away at the Discovery Arena in Moscow.
FC Tambov form guide: L-D-W-W-L
Spartak Moscow form guide: W-W-L-W-W
Tambov vs Spartak Moscow Team News
Sergey Pervushin has a full squad to choose from, with no news of any injuries ahead of the game. The Tambov manager is likely to continue with his settled starting XI, using the 3-4-3 formation with Kirill Panchenko leading the line.
Domenico Tedesco does not have too many walking wounded to deal with, with Maksim Glushenkov expected to be out until November. Aleksandr Tashaev is a doubt for this game, while Pavel Maslov serves his one-game ban after a red card against Rubin Kazan.
With a crucial game against Zenit coming up next, Tedesco may be tempted to rotate, although there is a week’s worth of recovery time ahead of that early-season title decider.
Injuries: Maksim Glushenkov
Doubtful: Aleksandr Tashaev
Suspensions: Pavel Maslov
Tambov vs Spartak Moscow Predicted Lineups
FC Tambov Predicted XI (3-4-3): Sergei Ryzhikov (GK); Evgeni Shlyakov, Aleksey Gritsaenko, Adessoye Oyevole; Aleksei Rubin, Guram Tetrashvili, Valeriu Ciuperca, Oleksandr Kapliyenko; Pavel Karasyov, Kirill Panchenko, Vladimir Obukhov
Spartak Moscow Predicted XI (3-4-3): Aleksandr Maksimenko (GK); Ilya Kutepov, Samuel Gigot, Georgiy Dzhikiya; Roman Zobnin, Nail Umyarov, Alex Kral, Ayrton Lucas; Jordan Larsson, Ezequiel Ponce, Zelimkhan Bakaev
Tambov vs Spartak Moscow Prediction
Spartak are obvious favourites going into this one, but like last season proved, Tambov have the capability to spring a surprise.
Spartak coach Tedesco will be determined to not lose further ground to Zenit in the title race and is likely to name a strong side to keep the momentum going. Jordan Larsson is in great goal-scoring form and could be set to trouble the Tambov defence.
Prediction: Tambov 1-3 Spartak Moscow