Leaders Zenit out to make it eight straight wins

25 October 2013 09:52

Russian leaders Zenit St Petersburg are out to extend their Premier League winning streak to eight consecutive matches against minnows Ural Yekaterinburg on Saturday.

Zenit are buoyed by their midweek Champions League win over Porto.

Manager Luciano Spalletti said: "The match at Porto was very tough even despite the fact that Porto were a man down.

"We played well, created a set of chances and won the match. I think we won it deservedly.

"Now we need to concentrate on the domestic league.

"Though Ural are in 14th place with just one win this season we shall prepare for the match with them throughly. They have nothing to lose and may give us serious problems especially in front of their home crowd."

Nine-time former champions Spartak Moscow, joint second with city rivals Lokomotiv, take on Rostov, who are winless in their last eight league matches.

Spartak are still beset by injuries.

Italian defender Salvatore Bocchetti, Ukrainian keeper Adrei Dykan, recently-signed German back Serdar Tasci, Belgian defender Joao Carlos and Brazilian midfielder Romulo are all sidelined .

"All of Spartak matches are very important and we're taking all of them very seriously," said Spartak and Russian international midfielder Dmitry Kombarov.

"Rostov's winless series will come to an end sometime. They will definitely try to stop it on Saturday. We have to be be ready for it."

Two-time champions Lokomotiv, who thrashed Amkar 4-0 on Monday, face Rubin at Kazan on Sunday.

The railway-backed side's Brazilian goalkeeper Marinato Guilherme is still out injured.

But Lokomotiv's manager Leonid Kuzhuk will have an opportunity to bolster his line-up with three players back from suspension - Croatian defender Vedran Corluka, Dutch midfielder Moubarak Boussoufa, who both collected four yellow cards, and Ukrainian back Taras Mykhalik, who was sent off in the match at Samara.

Rubin will be without their injured Venezuelan forward Salomon Rondon.

"We miss Rondon very much as he played a very important role in our team's attack," Rubin head coach Kurban Berdyev said.

"Unfortunately we don't have another classy forward to replace him."

Defending champions CSKA, who have experienced a rocky campaign so far this season, take on visitors FC Krasnodar on Sunday.

The Red Army side's playmaker Alan Dzagoev has battled back from a leg injury but he will unlikely come onto the pitch as a starter as he is still far from being his best form.

CSKA will also be without Brazilian defender Mario Fernandes and Latvian midfielder Aleksands Cauna, who are both still injured.

Meanwhile, fourth-placed FC Krasnodar will likely field a full-strength squad against CSKA.



Samara v Volga Nizhny Novgorod


Tomsk v Terek Grozny, Amkar Perm v Dynamo Moscow, Ural Yekaterinburg v Zenit St Petersburg, Spartak Moscow v Rostov


Rubin Kazan v Lokomotiv Moscow, CSKA Moscow v FC Krasnodar


Kuban Krasnodar v Anzhi Makhachkala


Source: AFP