2021/22 gets underway on Friday night in Russia
The Russian Premier League gets underway on Friday evening as the relentless football calendar kicks off for the 2021/22 season. Rostov host Dynamo Moscow, last season’s ninth versus seventh placed finishers. The visitors competed for European qualification for much of the campaign, while Rostov were looking over their shoulders a little more. With no form to go off in looking for an angle in this fixture, I have chosen a selection that gets two results onside, often an advisable tactic to hedge your bets. Top four will be the aim for both these sides, with the title a long shot but avoiding relegation expected to be comfortable, a spot in the Europa Conference League would constitute for a successful season.
These two sides have kept hold of their prized attacking assets coming into this season, Dmitri Poloz and Kento Hashimoto were the hosts’ most potent forces last term as were Daniil Lesovoy and Daniil Fomin for Dynamo.
Ali Sowe has come in to bolster Rostov’s attacking contingent, the Gambia international joined from CSKA Sofia for £2.7million following an initial loan spell last season. They have also strengthened their full back department with the additions of Kirill Bozhenov from Khimki and Igor Kalinin from Ural.
Premier League fans may be familiar with Dynamo Moscow’s new centre back Fabien Balbuena, the former West Ham United man joined on a free transfer. Former Manchester United full back Guillermo Varela is among the incomings, signing from Copenhagen, Luka Gagnidze is one of the marquee additions. The Georgian midfielder signed for £1.35million from Dinamo Tbilisi. The biggest name on the arrivals list being Diego Laxalt from AC Milan for £3.15million. Considerable investment for the level, Dynamo will be hoping it is enough to take them to the next stage and get back into European competition.
Rostov are capable and with the limited form to go off here, I have decided to utilise the Asian Handicap with the underdogs onside to look for value. They beat Dynamo 4-1 in the two’s last meeting, Poloz bagging a hattrick. With home advantage I feel they can definitely avoid defeat in this matchup which would bring us a win in this selection.