Registration was successful!
Please follow the link from the email sent to

Zenit host Anzhi in first-ever Premier League playoffs match

© RIA NovostiZenit St. Petersburg
Zenit St. Petersburg - Sputnik International
Subscribe
Zenit St. Petersburg enter the Russian Premier League’s playoffs Friday looking to extend their lead at the top to five points against Samuel Eto’o’s Anzhi Makhachkala.

Zenit St. Petersburg enter the Russian Premier League’s playoffs Friday looking to extend their lead at the top to five points against Samuel Eto’o’s Anzhi Makhachkala.

After 30 games, the top eight clubs have now splintered off into a mini-league, where they are to play each other twice to decide the title and the European places.

Zenit, on 60 points, have a fragile two-point lead going into the next stage, and know a slip against Anzhi could allow CSKA Moscow to overtake. CSKA host Rubin Kazan, placed seventh, later on Friday.

Injury prevents Zenit forward Aleksandr Kerzhakov from pitting himself against Anzhi’s Eto’o. The Cameroonian striker is looking to add to his seven goals in nine games since arriving in the summer.

The other heavyweight clash of the weekend is Sunday’s Moscow derby between Spartak and Lokomotiv. They lie joint fourth on 53 points, and the winner of the match will snatch third place from Dinamo Moscow, but only if they succumb to Dan Petrescu’s FC Kuban.

Dinamo are buoyed by the signing of key striker Kevin Kuranyi to a four-year contract extension, which was announced Thursday.

Among the bottom eight, who now fight to evade the two relegation places, bottom club Tom Tomsk travel to 10th-placed Rostov; ninth-placed FC Krasnodar host second-from bottom Spartak Nalchik; Terek and Krylya Sovietov meet in Grozny; and Volga Nizhny Novgorod host Amkar Perm.

The playoffs were to begin in March, but two rounds were moved forward to avoid late-season clutter.

The Russian league has traditionally been played in the summer because of the harsh winters, but officials decided to align it with European leagues to increase its competitiveness.

Once the current season ends, there will be a summer break. The 2012-13 season, which will revert to the regular 30 matches, is to begin in August or September.

 

Newsfeed
0
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
loader
Chats
Заголовок открываемого материала