Three Windows to Europe: Russian clubs resume the struggle in Euro cups

On Thursday three Russian clubs will play the first matches of 1/16 final of the Europa League. “Zenit” in the away match against “Anderlecht” and “Rostov” and “Krasnodar” will play at home with Sparta and Fenerbahce respectively.

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“Krasnodar” — “Fenerbahce”

  • The chances of FC Krasnodar: 35-40%
  • Chances Fenerbahce: 60-65%

“Krasnodar” — the only Russian club in the 1/16 finals of the Europa League, which is considered the outsider of the pair. The team of Igor Shalimov’s really got a very formidable opponent, which if successful, the grid is ready to go to the semi-finals of the Europa League. In the championship of Turkey has long made it a rule to invite the faded stars of European football-or those who failed to gain a foothold in the top clubs of the Old world. For example, in attack Fenerbahce stands Robin van Persie. However, in the first match with “Krasnodar” it will not take part. But his replacement ready to go familiar to fans of “Spartacus” Emmanuel Emenike. In defense of Fenerbahce plays the defender of Russian national team Roman Neustadter, and is also famous for playing for Liverpool and Zenit Martin Skrtel. However, the Slovak defender can’t help his team in Krasnodar from-for disqualification.

The winter transfer campaign for “Krasnodar” was hardly probable not the hot summer. The club left main midfielder Odil Akhmedov and defender Artur jędrzejczyk. And joined the defense team of Ecuador Cristian Ramirez and former football player of Russian national team Roman Shishkin. The middle line was strengthened Swedish midfielder Viktor Claesson. But the main transfer market success “Krasnodar” is not connected with the purchase, and the fact that the team managed to keep the best striker of Russia here and now Fedor Smolov.

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“Rostov” — “Sparta”

  • The chances of “Rostov”: 55-60%
  • The chances of reaching Sparta: 40-45%

Russia’s main sensation of the European Cup campaign-2016/2017 performance will continue in the Europa League. “Rostov” this winter was quite modest in the transfer market, but in terms of the modest budget was able to invite free agent Marko Devic. Forward of the national team of Ukraine — a significant boost for any club of the Russian Premier League. The backbone of the team over the winter has not changed and it is unlikely that we should expect from “Rostov” surprises. Kurban Berdyev and his diverse coaching staff are unlikely to deviate from the usual tactics: strong and disciplined game in defense with smashing counter-attacks.

It is particularly convenient to operate according to this model with the Prague “Sparta” — a team that loves and knows how to attack. The Czechs and a half years ago competed in the Champions League with CSKA, scoring in each match by two goals. Their composition is distinguished veteran Tomas Rosicky (but in Rostov it just will not play — approx. “”), extremely talented Czech midfielder Bořek Dočkal, as well as the Russian flank defender Vyacheslav Karavaev. It is by the standards of the championship of Czech Republic big star.

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“Anderlecht” — “Zenit”

  • Chances Anderlecht: 25-30%
  • The chances of “Zenith”: 70-75%

“Zenit” is one of those teams that can compete for the trophy in the current draw of the Europa League. Let the club from St. Petersburg, have already won the trophy before, the favorite is not clear, but the shadow, the chances of success he has. However, competition in the Europa League is high: in the tournament continue to fight “Manchester United”, “Tottenham”, “Roma” and “miner”.

Besides “Zenith” has very seriously increased in the winter transfer window. Of losses: lost any motivation in Petersburg Axel Witsel. Of acquisitions: Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic, the leader of the “Wings of the Soviets” as Nancy’s Yohan Mollo promising goalkeeper “Amkara” Andrey Lunev and the Brazilian midfielder Hernani.

Anderlecht have already met with the Russian club in Europe this season: Champions League qualification last summer, the Belgians were beaten “Rostov”. By the standards of the national championship Anderlecht are a real Grand. By the standards of all European club donor supply of young talent from his great Academy.

The UEFA Europa League. 1/16 finals. The first matches

16 Feb

19:00 (GMT). “Krasnodar” (RUSSIA) — “Fenerbahche” (Turkey)

21:00 (GMT). “Rostov” (RUSSIA) — “Sparta” (Czech Republic)

23:05 (GMT). Anderlecht (Belgium) — “Zenith” (RUSSIA)

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