Russia Premier League betting tips and odds

One of the most important factors for successful football betting is knowing the game itself. Unfortunately, there’s no easy way of attaining this knowledge – you simply have to love football and follow it for years.

Betting Fellow is here to help you with anything related to online sports betting, so we can at least point you in the right direction. We’ll try to do this by providing you with overviews of leagues you might not be as familiar with as you might want to be. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the Russian Premier League.

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12/04/2021
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Premier League Standings

  • Team
  • MP
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • F
  • A
  • D
  • P
  • Last Five
  • 1
  • Zenit
  • 24
  • 15
  • 6
  • 3
  • 55
  • 21
  • 34
  • 51
  • D L W W W
  • 7
  • Sochi
  • 24
  • 11
  • 7
  • 6
  • 38
  • 26
  • 12
  • 40
  • W D L W L
  • 8
  • Khimki
  • 25
  • 11
  • 5
  • 9
  • 31
  • 34
  • -3
  • 38
  • D W W L W
  • 9
  • Rostov
  • 25
  • 11
  • 4
  • 10
  • 32
  • 27
  • 5
  • 37
  • D L W L L
  • 10
  • Krasnodar
  • 24
  • 10
  • 4
  • 10
  • 44
  • 35
  • 9
  • 34
  • D L W L L
  • 12
  • Ural
  • 24
  • 6
  • 11
  • 7
  • 22
  • 30
  • -8
  • 29
  • D D W L W
  • 15
  • Ufa
  • 25
  • 4
  • 5
  • 16
  • 18
  • 41
  • -23
  • 17
  • D L L L W
  • 16
  • Tambov
  • 25
  • 3
  • 4
  • 18
  • 15
  • 46
  • -31
  • 13
  • L L L L L
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Russia Premier League Results

Round 24

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Round 23

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Round 22

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Round 21

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Round 20

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Round 19

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Round 18

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Round 17

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Round 16

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Round 15

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Round 14

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Round 13

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Round 12

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Round 11

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Round 10

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Round 9

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Round 8

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Round 7

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Round 6

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Round 5

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Round 4

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Round 3

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Round 2

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Round 1

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Russian Premier League History and General Info

Often abbreviated to RPL, the Russian Premier League is the highest tier of professional football in Russia. It consists of 16 of the best association football clubs in the country. It is currently officially called the Rosgosstrakh Russian Football Championship due to a sponsorship deal with one of Russia’s leading insurance companies.

As of the writing of this review, the UEFA league coefficients rank the Russian Premier League as the 7th-best national league in Europe. This ranking system bases such rankings on performances during the past five years. This means that the RPL is one of the biggest professional football competitions in the world.

The league in its current form was founded only 19 years ago, in 2001. However, the true history of top-flight leagues in Russia starts way back in 1936 while it was still part of the Soviet Union. The highest division of football in the USSR was the Soviet Top League.

The Soviet Top League was established on the initiative of Nikolai Starostin, the founder and head of the Spartak sports society. He is widely considered to be the creator of the Soviet football league system and is a very important figure in the history of USSR’s professional football. The League was originally called Group A. It changed several names over the decades, including the First Group after World War 2 and the Higher League after 1970.

Back in the day, the Soviet Union was a powerhouse in terms of world sports. The Soviet Top League ranked as the second-best league among UEFA members in the 1988-89 season. Following the country’s dissolution in 1991, however, the top-flight league was also splintered into several national leagues – most notably the Ukranian Premier League and the Russian Premier League. Since the international community widely considers Russia to be the USSR’s political successor state, UEFA also considers the Russian Premier League to have succeeded the Soviet Top League.

However, since several major leagues were spawned from the STL, discussing team records and titles can get a bit muddy. Keep this in mind when we discuss such topics later in this article. Between 1991 and 2001, Russia’s highest tier league was the Russian Football Championship. It was rather short-lived but worked a lot like the league we have today. In terms of structure, the RPL follows a mostly standard format. The 16 teams all play each other twice, once home and once away, for a total of 30 matches per team. The teams are then ranked based on a point system in which three points are awarded for a win and one for a draw. In case of a tie between two teams, they are further ranked by the number of wins, then the goal difference, followed by several other factors like head-to-head results.

The highest-ranked team are named Champions, and qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage, along with the runners-up. The third-ranked team qualify for the Champions League qualifying round. The next two teams on the board qualify for the Europa League.

The two teams with the least points are relegated to the National Football League (Formerly known as the First Division) and are replaced by the top-ranked two teams from that 2nd tier league. Matches used to be played between March and November in order to avoid the infamous Russian winter, but that changed in 2010. Nowadays, they’re played between autumn and spring, like in most European national leagues.

From 1991 to this day, the most decorated team in the RPL’s history is Spartak Moscow with 10 titles and 5 runner-up positions. They are followed by CSKA Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg with 6 and 5 titles, respectively.

The league’s all-time top scorer is Oleg Veretennikov, who played for many different teams throughout his career. (Soviet Top League appearances are taken into account for individual players.) The record for most appearances is held by CSKA Moscow’s Sergei Ignashevich with 489 outings.

Russian Premier League Title Challengers

The Russian Premier League 2020/21 season is kicking off, and the teams have a new set of challenges ahead of them. All things considered, though, the teams relative strength has not changed all that much. Some teams such as Spartak Moscow are again rising through the ranks, but more on that later.

A good starting point for determining the favourites would be a quick look at the outright Russian Premier Liga betting odds. The usual favourites of Zenit, Lokomotiv, and CSKA are near the top of all outright betting predictions, as is to be expected. However, the odds also point at Spartak as one of the season’s strongest teams.

Let’s take a closer look at the best teams in the Russian Premier League and their respective forms going into the 2020/21 season.

Zenit St. Petersburg

These guys can be found near the top of the table of almost every season, but they've been particularly strong for the past couple of years. They have two consecutive titles at this point, though their international campaign didn’t fare too well. Still, as reigning champions, they are the clear favourites to take the 3rd trophy in a row. Some online sportsbook price their victory as low as 1.40.

Their lineup hadn’t gone through too many changes over the summer – which is predictable, considering the successes. They boast a well-rounded, star-studded team of internationals including the famed right-winger Malcom, centre-forward Sardard Azmoun, and defended Wilmar Barrios. Some notable new arrivals include Liverpool’s centre-back Dejan Lovren, presumably there to fill in Hernani’s departure to Parma.

Zenit are especially noted for their rock-hard defence. They have the lowest rate of concessions in the entire league with just 18 for the entire previous season.

FC Krasnodar

Though Krasnodar recorded top 5 finishes for the past 6 seasons, coach Musaev has a tough task ahead of them. Hopes for Krasnodar were much higher just a few years ago due to their meteoric rise from the second-flight, but it seems their successes have plateaued at the third table position.

For starters, it seems the management has a lot less money to throw around on new transfers compared to the previous years. This can be a bit of an issue if they ever hope to catch up to Zenit. Almost no new arrivals have been reported in the pre-season, while Artem Golubev’s departure to Ufa is unimportant in the grand scheme of things.

The issue with predicting how The Bulls will fare is their frequent changes of coaches and strategies. Still, if last season's stats are to be believed, the biggest success they can strive for is second place after Zenit.

CSKA Moscow

Though CSKA recorded more meagre results last season than their biggest city rivals Lokomotiv, they’re still the more serious contenders this year. Why? Well, for starters, CSKA splurged close to €30 million on massively improving their roster (compared to Lokomotiv’s income of around €5 million.) Throwing cash at you problems doesn’t necessarily fix them, but many experts and pundits feel confident in most of coach Goncharenko’s decisions. Some of their more high-profile acquisitions include centre-forward Adolfo Gaich, left-winger Chidera Ejuke, and signing Nikola Vlašić on a long-term contract.

The fact that they’ve been 4th in the standings for 2 consecutive seasons is not as worrisome as the fact that they’ve been playing second fiddle to Zenit’s successes for well over a decade. Still, where some teams in the Russian Premiership seem to be content where they are, it’s obvious the Koni are striving for more.

Spartak Moscow

Despite a disappointing 7th placement last season, some bookies seem to consider Spartak the most likely team to grab the position of runners-up. We can’t say that we share the sentiment, but there are a few considerations to back up their claims.

The first of these is the arrival of acclaimed coach Domenico Tedesco. Though Spartak’s table position dropped under Tedesco’s management, his tenure has only just begone. He quickly managed to improve Spartak’s overall win rate to 52%. Furthermore, he seems geared to rectify Spartak’s issues with goal-scoring by bringing in some world-class forwards such as Aleksandr Kokorin and Aleksandr Sobolev. Spartak’s offence seems to be one of the more lethal in the Russian Premier Liga, though it’s doubtful they’ll manage to push through Zenit’s iron-clad defence.

Russian Premier League Relegation Candidates

Although it might seem less important for Russian Premier League betting at first glance, knowing which teams are most likely to be relegated to the National Football League is crucial for getting a good sense of the team rankings.

FK Tambov

If the bookmakers are to be believed, Tambov are the most likely team to be relegated for the second year in a row. To be fair, though, last season they recorded a respectable 8th position despite such pessimistic predictions. As such, they may yet have an ace up their sleeves. However, the stats are not on their side. At this point, most experts refer to their latest success as a fluke.

Rotor Volgograd

The 2020/21 season is Volgograd’s triumphant return to the top flight of Russian football. That said, newly promoted teams rarely fare too well in any top-tier league, and the Premier Liga is no different. A quick look at their lineup makes it obvious why most bookies don’t expect them to last very long. They simply don’t seem to have the financial power to stay afloat for too long. To be fair, though, a series of strategic loans brought their roster to a much better place than last season.

FK Khimki

The 2020/21 season is Volgograd’s triumphant return to the top flight of Russian football. That said, newly promoted teams rarely fare too well in any top-tier league, and the Premier Liga is no different. A quick look at their lineup makes it obvious why most bookies don’t expect them to last very long. They simply don’t seem to have the financial power to stay afloat for too long. To be fair, though, a series of strategic loans brought their roster to a much better place than last season.

Russian Premier League Top Players

In this section, we’ll be taking a quick look at some of the Russian Premier’s league most distinguished individual players.

Malcom

At only 22 years of age, Malcom Filipe Silva de Oliveira is already considered one of the most audacious wingers in the world. This young Brazillian is an inspiring success story coming from the streets of Sao Paolo, and easily the most highly valued player in the RPL.

He first made his fame with Brazil’s Corinthians and Bordeaux, continued on to a brief year with Barcelona, and is now an established and pivotal part of Zenit’s starting 11. Considering the €40 million fee Zenit paid for him, his performance last season left a lot to be desired. Some fans were especially angry at the sub-par international games, but this year is a big chance to leave a better impression.

Mário Fernandes

Another Brazilian-born footballer, Fernandes is currently CSKA Moscow’s right back, as he has been since 2012. He had a somewhat troubled past, but was there and largely contributed to a number of major successes for both CSKA and the Russian national team.

What sets him apart is that not only is he a world-class defender able to stop attacking manoeuvres in their tracks, he has also been known to stampede across the pitch and score goals of his own. CSKA’s defensive prowess is second only to that of Zenit, and they largely have Fernandes to thank for that.

Nikola Vlašić

Another Brazilian-born footballer, Fernandes is currently CSKA Moscow’s right back, as he has been since 2012. He had a somewhat troubled past, but was there and largely contributed to a number of major successes for both CSKA and the Russian national team.

What sets him apart is that not only is he a world-class defender able to stop attacking manoeuvres in their tracks, he has also been known to stampede across the pitch and score goals of his own. CSKA’s defensive prowess is second only to that of Zenit, and they largely have Fernandes to thank for that.

Russian Premier League Rising Stars

Adolfo Gaich

Gaich joined CSKA’s lineup this year, which is his introduction to European football. He comes from Argentina’s San Lorenzo, where he caught the eye of scouts as a young but talented striker. He recorded and insane 3.00 PPG during his one and only season in the Copa Superliga, though how he will manage to fare among Russia’s best remains to be seen.

Shapi Suleymanov

Krasnodar’s 20-year-old right-winger. The 2018/19 season was Suleymanov’s first stint in the highest echelon of Russian football, and he managed to score 6 goals over 8 games. Still, the high number of assists remains his best asset if we’re strictly looking at stats. His complete stats may seem slightly unimpressive, but he does seem to spend most high-profile matches on the bench, somewhat unfairly.

Russian Premier League Derby Matches

Moscow Derby

A rivalry as old as 1922, this derby is the match-up between two of the biggest football teams in Russia’s capital of Moscow – Spartak and CSKA (Although, nowadays there’s something to be said about Lokomotiv.)

It should be noted, however, that this name is sometimes given to any match played between any of the following: Torpedo Moscow, Spartak Moscow, CSKA Moscow, Lokomotiv Moscow and Dynamo Moscow. The current balance of power between these varies, as does the importance of their respective rivalries.

The Rivalry of Two Capitals

Again, this derby has been attached to several different rivalries. Zenit St. Petersburg is always on one end; on the other is any of Moscow’s leading clubs, namely Spartak and CSKA.

Russian Premier League Best Stadiums

VEB Arena

Also known as Arena CSKA due to UEFA sponsorship regulations, this multi-purpose sports stadium has a capacity of just over 30,000. As you might have guessed, it is CSKA’s home turf but is also occasionally used by the Russian national team.

Otkritie Arena

Spartak’s base of operations, the Otkitie arena may be familiar to football fans as one of the venues for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. It has a capacity of 45,360 and was completed in 2010. The name is due to a sponsorship deal with the Otkritie financial group, but it’s usually referred to simply as Spartak Stadium.

Krasnodar Stadium

Built in 2016, Krasnodar’s new stadium is an absolute architectural wonder. It is hailed as one of the most modern sports arenas in the world and can house up to 35,000 spectators.