Spartak transfers to propel them over Kazan
The Russian Premier League provides us with another belter in kicking off the season on Saturday when Rubin Kazan play host to Spartak Moscow. This is last season’s fourth place versus second with Kazan set to be involved in qualification for the inaugural Europa Conference League and Spartak taking on Benfica in the penultimate round of Champions League qualifying at the beginning of August. Despite outperforming the hosts quite comfortably in the 2020/21 campaign Spartak are well above evens to win the match outright, with little value in the Handicap or Draw No Bet market, let’s take them on the nose as the campaign commences.
In terms of household names Spartak have bolstered their attacking unit with the services of an Africa Cup of Nations and Premier League winner in the form of journeyman Victor Moses. While also luring Netherlands international Quincy Promes back to Russia, after a spell at Ajax. They have retained the firepower of Jordan Larsson and Aleksandr Sobolev in offense, the pair scored a combined total of 29 goals last term, Spartak are looking to reinstate their name as a regular figure competing at the top of the Russian Premier League.
Leonid Slutsky’s Kazan have also kept their 2020/21 top scorer Djordje Despotovic with Sead Haksabanovic joining from Norrkoping to add some competition. Balancing the Conference League with their domestic efforts will present a different challenge this year but Slutsky has the tactical knowhow to adjust to the busy schedule.
If Moses and Promes can hit the ground running Spartak could run Zenit Saint Petersburg very close this year, the champions are looking for a fourth straight crown. They have the better squad and pedigree in the competition, rightful favourites on Saturday evening. Kazan overperformed their expected goals numbers quite considerably last term, in unsustainable fashion unless they improve. In quality there are more than two league positions between these two in the division and Spartak will be hoping to demonstrate exactly that in this encounter. Send a statement out to the rest of the league on matchday one.
Spartak are the pick here, anything but a top four finish for them this season would constitute as a failure.