The 2017/18 Russia Premier League season starts this week and CSKA Moscow top the early table, thanks to a 3-1 victory in their opening match at Anzhi.
Last season’s runners-up, CSKA Moscow will be hoping to challenge for the title again this season but defending champions, Spartak Moscow will be determined to keep hold of the trophy they won for the first time since 2001 last season.
In the first match of their title defence, Spartak Moscow will travel to the Khimki Arena to play Dinamo Moscow.
Having been relegated at the end of the 2015/16 season, Dinamo Moscow did well to make an immediate return to the Russian top flight from the second tier. Can they cause the champions a problem in their first fixture back in the Premier League?
Dinamo Moscow Form
Following the winter break last season, Dinamo Moscow played 14 matches in the FNL and lost only one. It was this form which led them back to the Premier League and they scored 33 goals at home, failing to find the back of the net 4 times throughout the campaign.
Dinamo Moscow have played 3 friendly matches in the lead up to the new season, winning 2 and drawing 1, the latter of which was a 1-1 result against Arsenal Tula a week ago.
Dinamo Moscow lost only 2 of their 19 home matches last season.
Spartak Moscow Form
Having not won the Russian Premier League title for 16 years, it was with great joy Spartak Moscow returned to the top of the league.
Having dominated the division in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s Spartak Moscow will be hoping to begin another period of dominance in Russia but it will not be easy. A good run at the end of last season, which saw them lose only 2 of their last 10 games was enough for them to win the title.
At home, they tasted only 1 defeat all season but away from home, they managed just 3 victories in their final 8 games, conceding 15 goals and keeping only 1 clean sheet.
Dinamo Moscow, having lost several of their top foreign players prior to being relegated in 2015/16, have added striker Wanderson to their ranks for this season. The striker should join former Stuttgart defender Toni Sunjic in the starting XI.
Spartak Moscow have managed to keep hold of influential forward Quincy Promes, who is fit to start this match. However, they must make do without Serdar Tasci and Roman Zobnin who are both injured.
Top Betting Tips
Spartak Moscow are always going to be favourites when beginning the defence of their title against a newly promoted team and can be backed at 21/10 to win this match.
However, Dinamo Moscow will make it difficult in-front of a packed crowd and Spartak Moscow struggled for clean sheets away from home towards the end of last season. Spartak Moscow to win and both teams to score is 3/1 at Ladbrokes.
Do not be surprised to see a tight match, with only one goal in it and Spartak Moscow to win by a 1 goal margin is available at 11/4 with Ladbrokes.