About meeting favorite
Spartak and Zenit approach the match in different physical and emotional states. The red and white were defeated by the Portuguese “Braga” and completed their performance in the Europa League. At the same time, the team of Oleg Kononov over the past four weeks has worked in a busy schedule. Zenit, on the contrary, entered the field only once a week, avoiding lengthy flights. Yes, this did not save the team from losing points in matches with Akhmat and Ufa, but a negative background would more likely motivate the team in Moscow.
According to the former Spartak midfielder Alexander Mostovoy, in such pre-match conditions Petersburgers have more chances to get the upper hand.
“Zenith” looks preferable to the home team for one reason - “Spartak” is still worried that it was left without European cups. It’s clear, on the one hand, this will spur the team to new achievements, but the condition of each of the players is still very “shaky,” the expert said.
The specialist also explained that the functional state of Spartak players no longer depends on the coaching staff and physical training consultants.
“Often it happens, I know for myself that you feel perfect before the match, but you go out onto the field and your legs just don’t run. Sometimes it turns out differently - a few hours before the game you lie in the room and you cannot even find the strength to just get out of bed, and then something inside starts to work differently, and you run to the gate. It all depends on the players themselves. They need to set themselves up for battle, ”Mostovoy added.
The polar opinion was expressed by Vladislav Radimov. He said that the blue-white-blue did not have pre-match superiority over the opponent, and refused to give predictions on the outcome of the meeting.
“There is no favorite in this match, as they say in the football world - this is a game with three results. An excellent definition for the upcoming match. Anything can happen, ”Radimov said.
The former Zenit captain also noted that the St. Petersburg team is experiencing mistakes made earlier in the domestic championship, just as painful as Spartak - its misfire in Europe.
“Psychologically, both teams approach the match in a disassembled state. For Zenit, a defeat in Ufa is as much a tangible and powerful blow as for Spartak - a relegation from the Europa League. Blue-white-blue all the same reigning champions of the country and set themselves higher goals, they are not allowed to lose. This is a blow to pride, ”the expert believes.
In addition, Radimov refused to recognize the fact of the physical superiority of the guests over the owners. A former footballer said why a week-long vacation of blue-white-blue does not make them favorites.
“Tired of Spartak?” So, they had better prepare in the winter, all of Europe runs and plays in this mode. As a coach, I can say that for many players, on the contrary, it is better to play three matches a week. So I don’t quite understand where this talk about fatigue comes from. We have the beginning of the championship, you just need to properly prepare and recover. Everything is on an equal footing, but they are in full swing, ”Radimov explained.
About the problem areas of Spartak
According to Mostovoy, the manner of playing Spartak will not be much different from the one that the red-and-white demonstrated in the return match with Braga. The specialist admitted that the team of Oleg Kononov is experiencing problems in the central zone, but noted that it is quickly impossible to solve them.
“There are not many options in order to change something. They are played by those whom the coach can really count on. This is another matter. Firstly, people need to be correctly placed and given the right attitude for the match. Secondly, it’s not at all a fact that they can do this task. The overall level of Spartak players is not as high as the fans would like, ”Mostovoy said.
Moreover, the expert is confident that the appearance on the field of Guus Thiel and Jordan Larsson does not guarantee a red-white abundance of scoring chances in a meeting with an experienced opponent.
“It’s early to say that Spartak is Til’s team, and give him a mark of excellent! Now there will be an excellent check on what he really is. For Jordan Larsson and Andre Schurrle, too, by the way. Although Zenit is now not so scary, after two misfires, the team started to shake, ”the expert noted.
Analyzing the game of football players of the supporting zone of the Moscow team, Mostovoy made a separate emphasis on the actions of Roman Zobnin. In his opinion, for positive statistics, the midfielder lacks a worthy partner in the attack.
“Zobnin is too exalted in the eyes of the public. I have repeatedly said that this is an ordinary, just able-bodied football player. His secret is that he plays well only when there are more qualified football players next to him. He cannot take the ball and cleanly pass it forward 20 meters. Fernando, for example, could, ”he told RT.
Against the background of criticism of Zobnin, Mostova spoke positively about Reziuan Mirzov. In his opinion, the midfielder is able not only to correct his mistakes, but also if the circumstances are successful, decide the outcome of the meeting with Zenit.
“I think that he is being attacked undeservedly. He possesses qualities that many other Spartak players do not have. I like the way he goes to beat. Kononov keeps Reziuan at the start in anticipation of the moment when they, along with Zelimkhan Bakaev, will start to play as they did in the Tula Arsenal. If they can establish cooperation in the match with Zenit, they can destroy the defense of the champions of Russia, ”the expert concluded.
On the goalless Zenith series and Dziuba’s conflict with Spartak fans
In turn, Radimov did not agree with the fact that Zenit was faced with serious problems. According to the expert, one should not draw serious conclusions from the only defeat of the season.
“There is no crisis. Only journalists can talk about this. It’s permissible for them to write something. In St. Petersburg, panic was not noticed. Everyone understands that because of two matches it’s not worth bells, ”he said.
In addition, Radimov suggested that, after a slight recession in the game, already in the match with Spartak, players from St. Petersburg will look different than in past rounds.
“I do not exclude the possibility that Sergei Semak deliberately built the pre-season training of the team with the aim that his players will begin to reach peak form for the start in the Champions League. Thus, on the first day of autumn, Petersburgers can play an order of magnitude better than in the summer, ”Radimov explained.
Radimov also noted that Artyom Dziuba can play a key role in the confrontation. However, according to the former captain of the St. Petersburg team, for this, the striker should ignore the negative on the part of Spartak fans.
“The way they meet Dziuba can hook any person, but at his age you need to be psychologically stable. I can say by my own example that I have always heard that the rival stands screamed about me. But he is a man, so he should be ready to answer, but as a football player - with his effective actions on the field, ”concluded the representative of St. Petersburg.
The significance of the derby of two capitals for Russian football
The meetings of Spartak and Zenit have long been a landmark event for Russian football. Television ratings are higher than average, and fans are filling up stadiums in Tushino and Krestovsky Island to failure.
However, according to Radimov, in terms of status and importance, the meeting between Muscovites and Petersburgers is still inferior to the derby between CSKA and Spartak.
“Yes, for Zenit this is the most important match of the year, but for Russian football in general, I don’t think so. Still, traditionally the fight between Spartak and CSKA was considered the toughest and most important rivalry of the country. Now they can keep up, but the dispute between Moscow and St. Petersburg cannot be ahead of the Moscow derby in rating, ”Radimov said in an interview with RT.
Alexander Mostovoy did not agree with him. The expert noted that blue-white-blue are the flagship of Russian football.
“Now it’s fashionable to use the definition of“ derby of two capitals ”, I think it clearly demonstrates the status of the match. The excitement around this meeting is really higher than, for example, before the Spartak derby - CSKA. But this is understandable. In recent years, Zenit has outstripped even the red and white themselves, so the two most popular clubs in the country are the main irritants for each other, ”Mostovoy said.
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In addition, the specialist emphasized that, thanks to the World Cup legacy and new modern arenas, matches of this level are viewed and perceived differently by the audience.
“Even if something boring and slurred happens on the field, but at the same time a crowd of active fans gather in the stands, it eliminates the flaws and creates an atmosphere that will not leave anyone indifferent. Thanks to the cool stadiums, even for Spartak they started to root differently. All in red and white scarves, elegant. In my time, there was no such beauty. This is a new culture of supporting teams, ”said the former red-white striker.