The Russian Premier League is back in the fold this weekend as reigning champions Zenit Saint Petersburg host a strong FC Krasnodar outfit at the Krestovsky Stadium on Sunday. Both teams are yet to hit their peaks this season and will want to do well in this game.
Krasnodar are currently in tenth place in the Russian Premier League standings and are in desperate need of a victory at the moment. The Russian outfit squandered an excellent opportunity to defeat Sevilla in the UEFA Champions League during the week and will want to bounce back in this game.
Zenit Saint Petersburg have conceded ground in the Russian Premier League and have plenty of work to do to regain the top spot. The home side defeated FC Khimki by a 2-0 margin last weekend and will want to win this fixture.
Zenit Saint Petersburg vs FC Krasnodar Head-to-Head
Zenit Saint Petersburg have an excellent record against FC Krasnodar and have won 11 games out of a total of 18 matches played between the two sides. Krasnodar have managed only three victories against the Russian giants and have a point to prove in this game.
The previous match between these two teams in August last year resulted in a 1-1 draw. Artem Dzyuba scored a late stoppage-time equaliser on the day and will play a pivotal role in this game.
Zenit Saint Petersburg form guide in the Russian Premier League: W-L-W-D-W
FC Krasnodar form guide in the Russian Premier League: L-L-W-L-D
Zenit Saint Petersburg vs FC Krasnodar Team News
Zenit Saint Petersburg
Zenit Saint Petersburg will be unable to field Malcom against Krasnodar. Sardar Azmoun, Sebastian Driussi, and Leon Musaev are not fully fit at the moment and remain a doubt for this game. Wendel has joined the club from Sporting Lisbon and is likely to make a substitute appearance this weekend.
Doubtful: Sardar Azmoun, Sebastian Driussi, Leon Musaev
FC Krasnodar have their fair share of injuries to contend with and will be unable to field Sergey Petrov, Tonny Vilhena, and Remy Cabella this weekend. Dmitriy Stotskiy and Ari are yet to fully recover from their niggles and remain doubtful going into this match.
Injured: Sergey Petrov, Tonny Vilhena, Remy Cabella
Doubtful: Dmitriy Stotskiy, Ari
Zenit Saint Petersburg vs FC Krasnodar Predicted XI
Zenit Saint Petersburg Predicted XI (4-4-1-1): Mikhail Kerzhakov; Douglas Santos, Dejan Lovren, Yaroslav Rakitskiy, Vyacheslav Karavaev; Andrey Mostovoy, Wilmar Barrios, Magomed Ozdoev, Daler Kuzyaev; Aleksandr Erokhin; Artem Dzyuba
Krasnodar Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Matvei Safonov; Cristian Ramirez, Egor Sorokin, Aleksandr Martynovich, Igor Smolnikov; Yuri Gazinskiy Kristoffer Olsson; Daniil Utkin, Aleksey Ionov, Wanderson; Marcus Berg
Zenit Saint Petersburg vs FC Krasnodar Prediction
Zenit Saint Petersburg will have to deal with the absence of a few key players in their forward line and the likes of Artem Dzyuba will have to step up for the home side. The reigning champions have suffered from a few chinks in their armour this season and cannot afford to slip up in this game.
FC Krasnodar have a formidable squad of their own and will need to step up to the plate in this game. Zenit Saint Petersburg have an excellent record in this fixture and hold a slight upper hand going into this match.
Prediction: Zenit Saint Petersburg 2-1 FC Krasnodar