The Russian Premier League is back in action this weekend as league-leaders Zenit Saint Petersburg take on a struggling Rubin Kazan outfit at the Gazprom Arena. The home side has an excellent track record this season and holds the upper hand on Saturday.
Rubin Kazan have endured a difficult season so far and slumped to a 3-1 defeat against Krasnodar in their previous fixture. The away side has a suspect defence and will need to pull a rabbit out of the hat to win this game.
Zenit Saint Petersburg, on the other hand, have lost only one game in the Russian Premier League this season and are at the top of the table. With Spartak Moscow hot on their heels, the home side will want to make a statement with a victory against Rubin Kazan.
Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Rubin Kazan Head-to-Head
Zenit Saint Petersburg have a marginally superior head-to-head record in this fixture and won 14 games out of a total of 33 matches that they have played against Saturday's opponents. Rubin Kazan have managed 10 victories and will want to cut the deficit in this game.
The previous meeting between these two sides ended in a narrow 2-1 victory for Zenit Saint Petersburg. Sardar Azmoun and Artem Dzyuba scored on the day and will want to replicate their heroics this weekend.
Zenit Saint Petersburg form guide in the Russian Premier League: W-D-W-D-W
Rubin Kazan form guide in the Russian Premier League: L-D-W-L-W
Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Rubin Kazan Team News
Zenit Saint Petersburg
Zenit Saint Petersburg have a formidable squad and are likely to field an attacking line-up against Rubin Kazan. Malcom has been excellent for the hosts this season but is recovering from an injury and might be unavailable for this game.
Oliver Abildgaard and Denis Makarov have accumulated four yellow cards apiece this season and are suspended against Zenit Saint Petersburg. Mikhail Merkulov, Dmitriy Tarasov, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, and Igor Konovalov are yet to pass their fitness tests and might not feature in this game.
Doubtful: Mikhail Merkulov, Dmitriy Tarasov, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Igor Konovalov
Suspended: Oliver Abildgaard, Denis Makarov
Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Rubin Kazan Predicted XI
Zenit Saint Petersburg XI (4-4-2): Mikhail Kerzhakov; Douglas Santos, Dmitri Chistyakov, Yaroslav Rakitskiy, Vyacheslav Karavaev; Yuri Zhirkov, Wilmar Barrios, Magomed Ozdoev, Aleksandr Erokhin; Sardar Azmoun, Artem Dzyuba
Rubin Kazan Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Yuri Dyupin; Mikhail Merkulov, Silvije Begic, Carl Starfelt, Filip Uremovic; Darko Jevtic, Hwang In-Beom; Soltmurad Bakaev, Oleg Shatov, Aleksandr Zuev; Djorde Despotovic
Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Rubin Kazan Prediction
Zenit Saint Petersburg have barely put a foot wrong this season and will want to maintain their unbeaten streak with a victory against Rubin Kazan. With Artem Dzyuba and Sardar Azmoun in its ranks, the home side has an array of sensational attacking players and will look to take an early lead.
Rubin Kazan have struggled in their own half this season and need to plug the holes in their defence to stand a chance against Zenit Saint Petersburg. The home side is superior on paper and should be able to win this game.
Prediction: Zenit Saint Petersburg 3-0 Rubin Kazan