Arsenal Tula welcome SKA-Khabarovsk to the Stadion Arsenal on Monday night in the Russian Premier League. This fixture will complete the second round of matches this season. Arsenal Tula narrowly avoided relegation last season and were involved in a tense promotion/relegation playoff against Yenisey Krasnoyarsk of the Russian National League. Having lost the away leg 2-1, Arsenal Tula won the home leg 1-0 and secured their place in the top flight on away goals.
SKA-Khabarovsk were also involved in the promotion/relegation playoff and won promotion to the Russian Premier League for the first time in their history. Both games of their tie ended 0-0 with Orenburg but they won on penalties in dramatic fashion.
Arsenal Tula Form
Including last season, Arsenal Tula have won 3 of their last 10 Russian Premier League games. Interestingly, all 3 of those wins came in home games and included a good victory over champions Spartak Moscow.
Unfortunately, they started the current campaign with a 1-0 defeat at Lokomotiv Moscow and will be aiming to pick up their first points of the season with a win in this match.
At home, Arsenal Tula have won 6 of their last 8 games, drawing 1 and losing the other. They have kept a clean sheet in each of their last 4 home league matches but have failed to score in 6 of the last 9.
It was a tough start to life in the Russian Premier League for SKA-Khabarovsk last week as they lost 2-0 at home to Zenit St Petersburg.
They will not want to leave it long to pick up their first points in the top-flight but this also has the makings of a tough fixture. Last season SKA-Khabarovsk boasted the third best defensive record in the Russian National League.
SKA-Khabarovsk lost 5 league games away from home last season and while they scored 16 goals in their last 9 away league games, SKA-Khabarovsk only managed to keep 2 clean sheets.
Arsenal Tula have completed the signing of Spanish defender Victor Alvarez from Espanyol but he is unlikely to feature in this game. Ilya Maksimov remains doubtful with injury and Miodrag Bozovic will probably opt for a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Federico Rasic leading the attack.
SKA-Khabarovsk have no injury or suspension concerns ahead of his match will likely adopt a 5-4-1 defensive formation for this game. Juan Lescano will start alone up-front with support from last season’s top scorer, Ruslan Koryan.
Top Betting Tips
Neither team are particularly known for their goal scoring prowess and there have been under 2.5 goals in 6 of Arsenal Tula’s last 8 league games. Under 2.5 goals is available at 4/9 with Ladbrokes.
SKA-Khabarovsk will set up to defend but Arsenal Tula have a good recent home record and should have enough to break through and score the crucial goal. Defensively at home they have been very good and the 1-0 home win is 19/4 with Unibet and Arsenal Tula to win to nil is on offer at 7/4 with Ladbrokes.
Arsenal Tula have been winning at half-time and full-time in 5 of their last 7 home league games. You can get 23/10 with Ladbrokes for them to make it 6 of the last 8.