CSKA have not won 10 games in a row against Zenit. Will it work this time?
Latest results and standings
CSKA was expected to have a good start in the spring part of the season, but instead they started sadly and unexpectedly – 0:2 from Sochi. However, in the next round, hope flared up again, moreover, with a brilliant 4-0 over the no longer weak Wings of the Soviets.
CSKA ended a series of three consecutive defeats, and Dynamo lost to Krasnodar (1:3), thanks to which the army team took fifth place. Before the third “Rostov” nothing: six points.
In the first game after the winter break, Zenit easily overcame Pari NN (3:0), and in the second they had to work hard, and the St. Petersburg team was one step away from losing points. Khimki beat 0-2 in 11 minutes and only Gustavo Mantuan scored the winning goal in 91st minute – 3-2.
“Zenith” for 11 rounds before the end of the championship leads eight points ahead of “Spartak”.
CSKA’s infirmary is empty, there are no suspended players, but this did not stop Vladimir Fedotov from experimenting in the match against Wings. And the main surprise was not even the appearance of Anton Zabolotny at the start (he scored the winning goal), but the simultaneous placement of him together with Fedor Chalov.
Previously, some coaches tried to push Fedor to the flank, but this always ended in failure, and Fedotov, judging by the first game, managed to do it more correctly. Chalov was one of the most important players, who also scored a goal.
It is possible that Chalov will also appear in this position against Zenit, thanks to which he will help in personal work against Malcolm.
Meanwhile, CSKA is just trying to find its game and debug new connections, Zenit is trying to sharpen the existing advantages to the maximum. For example, this applies to Malcolm’s game, which finally began to show what was expected of him for several seasons. In 2023 he has scored four goals in two games, thanks to which he has a total of 16 + 5 in the 21st game of the RPL. And this is not only his best result for Zenit, but also the best season of his entire professional career.
Still, Sergei Semak will have to come up with something new due to Wilmar Barrios’ injury, which will hit the St. Petersburg support zone hard. Who will move there is the question. It is possible that Wendel, Daler Kuzyaev or Claudinho, who previously also studied in this position, will have to delve into it.
Statistics and facts
· CSKA have not won in 10 games in a row against Zenit (9 draws and 1 loss). The last victory is dated 2018.
· Zenit are the best visiting team in the RPL: W6, D3 and 0 losses. Goal difference – 16:3.
· Zenit have only conceded 9 goals in 19 games.
· According to the xPTS indicator (expected number of points scored), CSKA is six points behind Zenit, but ahead of Spartak.
· Malcolm scored one goal and one assist in his last match against CSKA.
· Zenit and CSKA have not played 0-0 in 11 games in a row.
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