Russian Premier League clubs Rubin Kazan and Spartak Moscow continue their respective pre-seasons when they meet in a friendly on Wednesday at 7pm (UK time).
This will be Rubin Kazan’s third friendly this month, having already taken down fellow Russian top-flight clubs Nizhny Novgorod 3-0 and Khimki 1-0, while Spartak Moscow have enjoyed similar pre-season success, beating Sochi 4-0 last time out and enjoying a 4-2 win over Croatian outfit HNK Sibenik last week.
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Scoreline prediction: Rubin Kazan 1-1 Spartak Moscow
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Rubin Kazan vs Spartak Moscow build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Under former Russia and Hull City manager Leonid Slutsky, Rubin Kazan could only qualify for the Europa Conference League last season, finishing fourth in the Russian Premier League, which has gained them entry into the third qualifying round of UEFA’s inaugural competition.
For Spartak Moscow, Domenico Tedesco guided the club to second in the 2020/21 season, but the 35-year-old Italian coach has since left his position and been succeeded by ex-Benfica manager Rui Vitoria, who will be looking to use this summer to get to know his players, test systems and work out his best tactical approach ahead of the new campaign.
- Rubin Kazan (vs Rotor Volgograd): Dyupin; Zotov, Starfelt, Begic, Samoshnikov; Abildgaard, Jevtic, Shatov; Makarov, Bakaev, Despotovic.
- Spartak Moscow (vs Akhmat Grozny): Maksimenko; Kutepov, Dzhikiya, Gigot; Moses, Zobnin, Kral, Lucas; Promes, Larsson, Sobolev.
Rubin Kazan fans will be hopeful of seeing new recruit Sead Haksabanovic in action, with the former West Ham forward joining this summer from Norrkoping in Sweden. For Spartak, Victor Moses has joined on a permanent from Chelsea following his loan spell, but Vitoria will remain without a number of players who went to the Euros, including Quincy Promes and Alex Kral.
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Player to watch: Victor Moses (Spartak Moscow)
A player who perhaps hasn’t earned the full plaudits his career deserves. At 30, Moses is arguably in the age bracket which should be his peak years, and yet he finds himself away from the limelight of a top five league in Europe. The Nigerian’s CV is padded out with some of the best clubs the continent has to offer, including Chelsea, where he proved an indispensable cog in Antonio Conte’s title-winning side, as well as Inter Milan, reuniting with the Italian tactician in 2020. He’s also taken on loan spells at Liverpool, West Ham and Fenerbahce, coming a long way from his humble beginnings then in the Championship with Crystal Palace. There can be no question that Spartak’s permanent acquisition of the wily winger is a huge coup for the club, and he will be looking to continue the fine work he produced during his loan spell, potentially even challenging for Russian Premier League supremacy next term.