Ural vs Lokomotiv – Tuesday 18:45 MT/17:45 CET Fisht Stadium – Sochi, Russia Federation.
Lokomotiv had an inconsistent season in the Russian Football Premier League, and the club may fail to reach European football for the second year in a row. Winning their seventh Russian Cup, which would mean they would pull even with CSKA Moscow for the most Cup victories since the fall of the Soviet Union.
Ural in the meantime have never reached the Russian Cup final before. Winning the Cup on Tuesday against Lokomotiv would mean that for the first time in history Ural would reach a UEFA competition.
Europa League football would be a remarkable achievement for the club, which is located right on the border between Europe and Asia. There will be of course questions on where exactly Ural would play their home games. The World Cup Stadion in Yekaterinburg will not be done in time for the potential Europa League games to take place in the facility.
With this in mind, Ural might be first to play their home games away from Yekaterinburg. Before Ural get to worry about Europa League football, however, they will have to beat Lokomotiv. Given Lokomotiv’s history in the competition, the Moscow-based club will be the favourite to win the cup.
Taking recent form into account, it is hard to pick a winner, in this Russian Cup final, however. Ural started well into the second half of the season but lost the last three league games. Lokomotiv in the meantime has not managed to win a game in three matches, and the Railwaymen suffered a massive defeat at the hands of CSKA Moscow last week. With this in mind, it will be difficult to pick one team over the other for the favourite for the cup.
Ural vs Lokomotiv – Players to look out for:
Eric Bicfalvi #6 – Ural Yekaterinburg
The Romanian midfielder was once considered one of the brightest prospects in Eastern European football. When playing for Volyn Lutsk in Ukraine Bicfalvi was once considered the successor for Henrikh Mkhitaryan. But a move to Shakhtar never materialized, and instead, Bicfalvi joined Liaoning FC in China in 2015. Since then Bicfalvi has had a typical journeyman career, and his career hit a real roadblock after his latest club Tom Tomsk faced bankruptcy last winter. Bicfalvi left Tom on a free transfer to join Ural, and he quickly became the most valuable player on the squad.
Ari #90 – Lokomotiv Moscow
For many years the Brazilian forward Ari was the face of Lokomotiv’s league rival Krasnodar. But Ari has seen his playing time diminish at Krasnodar, and as a result was looking for a move away from Krasnodar. Ari therefore joined Lokomotiv on a loan deal in the winter, and in six games Ari has managed to score four goals, and one assist. Ari has been a pivotal player in Yuri Semin’s 3-5-2 system, and Ural will have to do well to stop the Brazilian forward.
Ural vs Lokomotiv – Match Stats
- Ural have never before reached the final of the Russian Cup.
- Lokomotiv can win their seventh Russian Cup, and pull even with CSKA Moscow.
- A cup win would mean that Ural would reach the Europa League for the first time in history.
- Both games this season ended in ties (1-1, and 2-2).
Prediction: Ural vs Lokomotiv 2-1 (in extra time)
Ural vs Lokomotiv – Possible Lineups
Timofeev – Merkulov, Dinga, Pankov, Kulakov – Shcherbakov – Glushkov, Bicfalvi, Lomakin, Serchenkov -Pavlyuchenkov
Coach: Aleksandr Tarkhanov
Guilherme – Barinov, Pejcinović, Mykhalyk – V. Denisov, Kolomeytsev, I. Denisov, Fernandes, Ignatyev – Farfan, Ari
Coach: Yuri Semin