RPL silver medals and place in the group stage of the Champions League

The early completion of the Russian football championship is more profitable for the wards than Yuri Syomin. If the final position of the teams will be determined by the results of 22 rounds, the railwaymen will remain on the second line in the standings. This will allow them not only to take silver medals for the second year in a row, but also to qualify directly in the group stage of the Champions League. But before the guest victory over Rostov in the last match, before leaving for quarantine, they occupied the fourth line and were in the zone of the Europa League.

It is worth noting that initially the prospects of Lokomotiv in the spring part of the championship seemed rather vague. In the autumn, a crisis emerged in the team’s game, after which the railway workers not only did not strengthen the squad, but also lost one of two healthy forwards. Fedor Smolov went to Celta on loan, and only Eder remained at the disposal of the mentor. Yes, Luka Djordjevic was still present in the application, but due to the rupture of the cruciate ligaments, he dropped out at least until mid-May. In the context of the coronavirus pandemic and the lack of proper workloads, it is unlikely to be able to quickly gain shape. Therefore, one can’t seriously count on the Montenegrins, even if the championship resumes in June.

In favor of Lokomotiv, the fact that in the remaining meetings he was expected to face off against only two top opponents in the person of CSKA and Spartak, but the instability in the game could well have cost him the loss of points. In addition, the atmosphere inside the club would be able to influence the performance of red-green. It's no secret that the leadership does not have the best relations with Yuri Semin. A failed performance in the final segment of the championship would be an ideal justification for not renewing a contract with a coach.


Saving registration in RPL

Before the start of the spring part, the wards of Sergei Pervushin were considered one of the main outsiders. Firstly, in the remaining eight rounds they had to hold a series of difficult meetings that could put an end to maintaining a residence permit in the elite division. In addition to matches with giants in the person of Zenit, CSKA and Spartak, Tambov had to face off against direct competitors for survival. In such circumstances, a modest team would be very difficult, and taking into account the loss of a number of prominent players, including Maxim Osipenko and Benito, the struggle for survival only became more complicated.

In addition, the fact that it has neither serious funding nor a stadium suitable for playing in the “high society” speaks not in favor of the club. This season, “Tambov” managed to play both in Saransk and in Nizhny Novgorod, which caused criticism from both his own fans and other football figures.

In this regard, his performance does not cause serious excitement among fans, which reflects the statistics of attendance. On average, at home matches with the participation of “wolves” there are 6,247 spectators, which is the second indicator in the RPL from the end. In contrast to the same Akhmat, the region is not concerned about keeping the team afloat with all its might, therefore they prefer not to spend money on reconstructing their own arena or on transfers. In these conditions, the opportunity to avoid departure seems like a real gift.


Salvation from direct departure from the RPL

Unlike Tambov, in the event of an early stop of the season, Orenburg does not guarantee itself the preservation of a place in the Premier League, but it will not fly out directly and continue to fight in butt games. But taking into account the fact that many have already managed to put an end to the team, such a development of events seems more than favorable. In addition, if the RPL is expanded to 18 teams, he may well avoid this stress.

Despite the fact that the club managed to avoid a massive sale in the winter transfer window, in December it was left by head coach Vladimir Fedotov. The specialist was considered the main asset of the team and the guarantor of the continuation of the struggle for a place in the RPL. In his absence, Orenburg took four points in four meetings, but lost in the last two with a score of 2: 8. All this suggests that the change of mentor did not pass without a trace.

The situation of “Orenburg” was complicated by the fact that at the finish of the championship the most difficult calendar among all outsiders was waiting for him. He had to fight with the “Locomotive”, “Krasnodar”, CSKA, “Rostov”, “Zenith” and “Dynamo”. Given the current state of the team, he could well not score a single point in these matches and be on the last line of the tournament table.


Loss of a chance to compete for silver and the opportunity to play in the Champions League for the first time in history

Black and green can be one of the main losers in the event of cancellation of the end of the season. Wards Murad Musaev began the championship without a number of their leaders and were forced to play along the way, but still turned out to be among the main contenders for the victory. And although “Krasnodar” did not have enough stability to fight with “Zenith” for gold, its qualities were quite enough for the battle for the second place.

In this case, for the first time in history, they would qualify in the group stage of the Champions League. Given that since the season 2021/22 only one Russian club will directly fall into the number of “lucky ones”, it would be extremely disappointing to miss such a chance.

Especially due to the fact that Krasnodar is not inferior to Lokomotiv neither in the number of points scored (41), nor in personal meetings. Both times, the rivals tied with a score of 1: 1, and the railroad workers occupy a higher line due to leadership in the number of victories. The fact that up to the 22nd round the “bulls” exceeded the opponent by three points, but unexpectedly lost to Sochi, adds drama.


The unsuccessful end of the best season under the leadership of Valery Karpin

The real failure will result in the championship ending for “Rostov”. At least because for him this season was the best in the era of Valery Karpin. The yellow and blue looked great in the first part of the championship, retained their leaders in the winter and were ready to fight for medals until the last round. In this case, they could well repeat the achievement of four years ago and qualify for the Champions League. But the fatal defeat from Lokomotiv threw them to the fourth line, which leaves them with the right to count on qualifying for the second most important European tournament.

It is enough to note that in the 2019/20 season Rostov already won 11 victories - the fourth result in the club’s Russian history. Considering that there were eight more games remaining until the end of the season, southerners could well come close to the record set in the era of Kurban Berdyev. Then the yellow-blue won 19 out of 30 meetings and took silver medals.

At the same time, the team had chances for the second time in history to take second place in the RPL. Given the imperfect state of Lokomotiv and the unpredictability of Krasnodar, Rostov could outperform its competitors on the finish line. Yes, on paper Valery Karpin’s wards have the most difficult schedule among competitors, but largely because of the match with Zenit. Moreover, he was supposed to take place only in the 30th round, to which the blue-white-blue would probably solve all the tournament problems, and, accordingly, would lose their motivation.


Departure to the FNL after 12 consecutive seasons in the RPL

Moreover, the situation of “Akhmat” is even more deplorable. In 2008, the Grozny club made its way into the RPL for the second time in history and since then has never left the country's top division, and for the last five years it regularly entered the top 10. In this regard, it will be extremely unfair if he loses registration in the Premier League due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Grozny residents are in the top ten in terms of squad cost (according to Transfermarkt), a little less than € 6 million behind Rostov, and also occupy the seventh place in attendance at home matches. In total, 122 games of the team were attended by 162,774 fans. This at least indicates that management is ready to spend money on team building, and fans are actively supporting it.

In terms of the schedule, “Akhmatu” will not be envied, because he would have to fight with CSKA, “Zenith”, “Spartak” and “Krasnodar”, but they promised to be key meetings with neighbors on the table. There is no doubt that the wards of Igor Shalimov were able to crack down on direct competitors and play back the three-pointer gap from Rubin and Orenburg.