CSKA vs Spartak Moscow – Saturday 12 August 15:30 BST/17:30 MT – VEB Arena, Moscow
Spartak Moscow are back on track after the debacle against Zenit Saint Petersburg last weekend. The Myaso faced Arsenal Tula midweek beating them 2-0 to somewhat steady the ship. But while the victory against Tula has somehow aliveated the pain suffered from the 5-1 defeat to Zenit Spartak fans will demand a win in the big Moscow derby on the weekend—especially as Spartak, who are currently in eighth place, have collected just eight points out of the first five matches.
CSKA in the meantime have also suffered from a slow start in the league. Collecting just nine points out of the first five games CSKA are currently just fifth. Even though that means that CSKA are just four points behind leaders Zenit the Red Army men have been dreadful for the most of the season thus far. CSKA lost 2-1 to Rubin Kazan last weekend and then barely defeated FC Tosno during the midweek fixture.
As a result, both clubs want to use the big Moscow derby to shake off the bad start to their respective seasons. A victory over their biggest rivals, after all, would go a long way to make supporters forget about recent problems, but also would also give some hope in the title race. Zenit’s surprise 1-1 draw away at Ural after all demonstrated that Roberto Mancini’s men are not invincible.
At the same time, both sides need a victory to keep pace. A loss or even a draw could mean the end of the title race before the season has come into full swing. The pressure will be therefore enormous on the weekend, which could give Spartak a slight advantage. Spartak head coach Massimo Carrera demonstrated last season that he is at his best when his side seems at a low point. Furthermore, Spartak are excellent at grinding out results and seem fitter than a CSKA Moscow side that are in rebuild at the moment and also have to somewhat rotate to be match fit midweek when they face Young Boys Bern in the UEFA Champions League playoffs.
CSKA vs Spartak Moscow – Players to Watch Out For
Aaron Olanare #99 – CSKA Moscow
Aaron Olanare has finally found his form this season. The 23-year-old Nigerian striker was on the scoresheet midweek when he played the full 90 minutes against newly promoted FC Tosno. Goncharenko has been somewhat reluctant when it came to starting the Nigerian forward preferring Vitinho up front. But his goal against Tosno could have now opened the path to the starting eleven for Olanara.
Mario Pašalić #50 – Spartak Moscow
Brought in on loan from Chelsea FC Mario Pašalić debut in the Russian Football Premier League could not have been worse. Brought in in the last 18 minutes of the match against Zenit last weekend Pašalić was unable to make a difference in the derby of the capitals. Fortunately for him, and the entire Spartak side, the Myaso were given a midweek fixture against Arsenal Tula. Playing the full 90 minutes against Tula Pašalić demonstrated that he could be the organiser that Spartak’s midfield need.
CSKA vs Spartak Moscow – Match Stats
- Spartak and CSKA have won the last two Russian Football Premier League titles.
- Massimo Carerra won both his games against CSKA Moscow last season.
- The Italian coach, however, was defeated by CSKA Moscow head coach Viktor Goncharenko during the first half of the 2016-17 season when Goncharenko run Ufa.
- In 25 home games, CSKA have W10 L8 D7 against Spartak Moscow
Futbolgrad Prediction CSKA vs Spartak Moscow 0-2
CSKA vs Spartak Moscow – Possible Starting Lineups
Pomazoun – A. Berezutskiy, Vasin, V. Berezutskiy – Fernandes, Golovin, Wernbloom, Milanov, Schennikov – Chalov, Olanare
Manager: Viktor Goncharenko
Selikhov – Tigiev, Dzhikiya, Tasci, Petković – Glushakov, Pasalic – Promes, Ananidze, Samedov – Zé Luís
Manager: Massimo Carrera
Manuel Veth is a freelance journalist and social media junior editor at Bundesliga.com. He is also a holder of a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which will be available in print soon. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.