It’s an incredibly intense day at the Russian Cup! Loko, CSKA, Zenit and Rostov play. LIVE
Nikita Paglazov September 20, 2023, 01:00 Moscow time Audio version: Your browser does not support the audio element.
And their rivals will be Ural, Sochi, Akhmat and Rubin.
Today, September 20, four matches in the group stage of the Fonbet Russian Cup will be played. Lokomotiv will visit the Urals, CSKA will host Sochi, Akhmat will play with Zenit, and Rubin will meet with Rostov.
The Russian Cup is an excellent opportunity for Mikhail Galaktionov’s team to recover. Unlike the RPL, Lokomotiv’s situation in this tournament is positive: six points after three rounds and a leading position together with Rostov. The Yekaterinburg team has half the points, but does not miss opportunities. And if you evaluate the form of today’s opponents here and now, Viktor Goncharenko’s boys look like favorites. Not only because of the local field factor. Victory will allow us to catch up with our Moscow rival.
CSKA, paradoxically, does not lead group A, but Orenburg. At the same time, the army team, as the headliner of the quartet, does not look like a formidable force at the moment: with the same Sochi in the Russian Cup, they played to zero and won only on penalties. The Black Sea team, after the change of coach (instead of Dmitry Khokhlov, Alexander Tochilin arrived) may well surprise thanks to an emotional outburst – this has happened more than once in world football.
Zenit Grozny is a separate story in Russian football. The hegemonic power often stumbles and loses points in the Chechen capital: the last time was in August last year (0-0). This is probably the main intrigue of the match: will Akhmat be able to stop Sergei Semak’s team on its way to leaving the group? In addition, Miroslav Romashchenko’s boys need points like air: after all, “Krylia Sovetov” won their match and they are no longer outsiders.
“Rubin” and “Rostov” are approaching the second head-to-head confrontation in different situations. The Kazan team shares the last place with Ural (three points after three rounds), and the Donetsk team is in the lead together with Lokomotiv. A possible victory for Rashid Rakhimov’s team looks intriguing: then three teams will have six points each. Or maybe four, if Ural beats Loko!