Betting on Russian Premier Liga
On this page you can find all information about the Russian Premier Liga. We present the big clubs, the most interesting games, the best sportsbooks and tell you what you should pay special attention to when betting on games in Russia. In addition to historical statistics, you also find upcoming games and form curves of the teams.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, the then “Supreme League” of Russia was founded in 1992 – the competition has been called Premjer Liga since 2001, but is primarily called the Premier League in foreign countries.
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The Russian league consists of 16 teams and ends the season without further ado or playoffs in 30 rounds. Every team meets every other team twice, in the end there is a champion, two relegated teams and another team has to go into the relegation playoff.
Since the league is still very young, there were only six different champions and in addition to Zenit St.Petersburg, the Moscow clubs in particular are leading the way. Spartak Moscow is currently the record champion with ten championships won.
Spartak Moscow – Betting on the “People’s Club”
After the founding of the Premier League, Spartak Moscow was crowned champions almost every year and won nine of the first ten titles. The “People’s Team” had previously won the Soviet championship ten times. The team got its nickname from a survey that Spartak is the most popular team in the country. Spartak has spawned numerous top Russian players in its almost 100-year history, but was also always known for signing top players from South America who shared the traditionally competitive, physically strong style of play. Examples are the Brazilian Luiz Adriano or the Paraguayan Lucas Barrios. Some of the best-known European foreigners who played for Spartak were, for example, Jose Manuel Jurado, Martin Jiránek, Stipe Pletikosa or Emanuel Pogatetz. Like many other Russian clubs, Spartak always has foreign coaches, all of whom come to the Russian capital with different approaches and ideas, which is why it is not possible to define a precise and permanent style of play for Spartak.
CSKA Moscow – Betting on the Army Club
As in many states of the former Eastern Bloc, there is also a popular “Army Club” in Russia, which is what the well-known abbreviation “CSKA” stands for. After seven Soviet championships, the club won six Russian titles and, compared to Spartak, relied more on local footballers. The current goalkeeper Igor Akinfejew is the club’s record player in front of his former teammates Berezutskiy and Ignashevich. However, exceptions confirm the rule and CSKA Moscow was also the employer of top players from abroad such as Ivica Olic, Vagner Love, Keisuke Honda, Seydou Doumbia and Zoran Tosic. CSKA’s strength has traditionally been based on a tough, well-organized and well-established defense in most seasons that hardly allows goal scoring opportunities for the opposition, which is one of the reasons why CSKA is one of the most uncomfortable opponents and one of the most successful Russian clubs at international level.
Zenit St. Petersburg – Betting on the Leningrad metallers
Established in what was then Leningrad as a factory team for a metalworking company, Zenit St.Peterburg played only a small role in the former Soviet Union, but became the financially strongest and most spectacular club in the Premier League. And that despite being currently only third in the all-time best list with five championship titles won. For Zenit, some top players such as Axel Witsel, Hulk, Martin Skrtel, Ezequiel Garay and Leandro Parades played. With prodigies like Arshavin, Denisov, Kerzhakov, Shirokov or Pogrebnjak, the creme de la creme of Russian players laced their shoes for the club. Zenit traditionally represents an attacking and maybe the most exciting team in the Russian Premier League and especially in the domestic Gazprom Arena they are a real force that can build up massive pressure on every opponent. Especially at home games, it pays to check the pressure conditions of the game regularly, in order to make a tip on “Next goal Zenit” if necessary. The 2008 UEFA Cup winner is known to be reluctant to shift down a gear and still go for another goal instead.
Lokomotive Moscow – Betting on the Railroad Workers
The fourth major club in the league are the “railway workers” from Lokomotiv Moscow, who are simply called “Lok”. The club was founded in 1923 as the “Club of the October Revolution” and consisted of the best footballers on the Soviet railroad. While it was not possible to celebrate a championship title in the Soviet Union, Lok had already won three Premier League titles. Players like Lassana Diarra, Branislav Ivanovic, Marat Izmailov, Oleg Kuzmin and Roman Shishkin earned their money here. Both top player and top scorer of the club is the club legend Dmitri Loskov, who ended his career in 2017. Lok is traditionally considered a staid, but enormously well-organized side, which earns its rolls in a minimalist way and with a high strategic effort. In 2018 the team won the championship with a goal difference of 41:21, so they only scored 1.36 goals per game. Historically, Lokomotiv Moscow has become a typical “under” club, for which control is the top priority.
Dinamo Moscow – Betting on the military club
Dinamo, founded as a military club, is the fourth major capital city club in the group – but also the one that lives mainly from the successes of the past. The club that produced the great goalkeeper Lev Yashin won eleven titles in the Soviet Union, but has not yet won a Russian championship, although the team is still a regular at European level. The traditional club produced numerous big players, but has always been considered a problem child of Moscow football and does not necessarily provide spectacles. In the past seasons Dinamo has been more of a guarantor for low-goal games, there have even been averages of less than two goals per game over entire seasons. Nevertheless, the derbies against other clubs from Moscow are particularly interesting and always worth a (live) bet.
Derbies in the Russian League
The Premier League is mainly characterized by Moscow’s top duels and derbies, but has also had another team since the young league was founded, which guarantees spectacular encounters with the other major clubs. We summarize the most important duels of the Russian Premier League.
Spartak – CSKA: Betting on the “Great Moscow Derby”
The big meeting of the two most popular Moscow clubs promises heated games and lots of emotions. Historically, the derby between Spartak and CSKA Moscow is very balanced. After over 150 duels, the two teams have almost the same number of derby wins and the goal difference between the two teams is only separated by a few goals. One thing that stands out on the balance sheet is the relatively few draws between these two clubs. Only every fifth Moscow derby ends in a draw, which suggests that the teams like to go for the win and don’t want to be satisfied with an “X” against the city rivals. Most recently there was a phase of ten consecutive derbies between 2013 and 2018, in which there was always a winner.
In addition, the Great Moscow Derby is always good for some goals. In the overall comparison, 2.80 goals per game were scored in the games of the two arch rivals, which is a very high value for a derby. Of course, the toughness of these duels is also striking and, like in many other heated games, it is also a tried and tested way in Moscow to watch the game live and, if necessary, to count cards to place a live bet on whether both teams will end the game with eleven players.
CSKA – Zenit: Betting on the duel of the big cities
Historically, CSKA Moscow has a clear edge when it comes to meeting the competition from St.Petersburg. However, the tide has turned in recent years, especially after the turn of the millennium, Zenit repeatedly set up spectacular teams that made life very difficult for the Moscow club. The duel was significantly more balanced in the modern football era and almost a third of the direct duels ended in a draw, making this top duel to a statistical opposite to the Great Moscow Derby. In addition, there are fewer goals on average than in the Moscow derby, but still an average of around 2.50 goals per game.
Especially in the last few years, the games between CSKA Moscow and Zenit St.Petersburg have always been decisive or at least a decisive factor when it comes to winning the Russian championship. The duels between the two teams were tough and hot. The atmosphere in the stands also plays an important role in this top game and in the history of the duel, only about every fourth game was won by the away side.
Spartak – Zenit: Betting on the top duel
When the most successful and popular team in Russia meets the most successful team in modern times, there is always something going on. Of Russia’s top games, the encounter between Spartak and Zenit is the one responsible for the greatest spectacle. Between 2015 and 2018 there was a series of six duels between these two teams, in which 30 goals were scored. Since both teams like to play with their sights open and like to offer their fans something, “over” bets are often promising in this top game.
Spartak – Dinamo: Betting on the oldest derby in Russia
The Moscow city duel between Spartak and Dinamo is the most frequently played duel in Russia and at the same time the oldest derby in the country. Historically, the duel is fairly balanced due to the strong Dinamo teams in Soviet times, but since the Premier League was founded, Spartak has been clearly ahead in terms of quality. Between 1997 and 2003, Spartak remained undefeated for twelve derbies. The last real streak of derby successes from Dinamo was decades ago. Since the balance of power has shifted a lot, Dinamo mainly helps with toughness, but Spartak’s traditionally vigorous side is happy to counteract this. Depending on the course of the game, live bets are a good option here, for example on many yellow cards.
Betting information on the Russian Premier League
The Russian Premier League, along with the Portuguese league, is normally changing between places six and seven in der UEFA coefficient ranking, which means that Russia always has a starting spot in the UEFA Champions League and can also start several clubs in the Europa League.
Russian Premier League stadiums
For a long time, the Russian football league was characterized by old, spacious and oversized concrete stadiums. At least since the 2018 World Cup, when Russia launched a major infrastructure offensive and built numerous new stadiums or completely renovated old venues, most of these remnants of communism have been a thing of the past. Almost every first division club now has a super modern arena that can accommodate a reasonable number of spectators and is classified in the top UEFA category. The largest stadium in the league is located in St.Petersburg: The Gazprom Arena holds 67,800 spectators. This is followed by the Arenas in Kazan, Rostov and Samara, which all have space for 45,000 fans, and the Otkrytiye Arena in Moscow, home of Spartak Moscow. No league football is played in the traditional Luzhniki Stadium: The “Sbornaja”, the Russian national team, plays in the 81,000-seat national arena, which was renovated in 2017.
The most successful clubs
In the list of the most successful clubs in Russia, we do not take into account the Soviet championship titles, but only list the Russian title wins since the new Russian league was established in 1992. Spartak Moscow is the Russian record champion, but at least two teams are preparing to topple this status in the coming years or decades.
10 Spartak Moskow
6 CSKA Moskow
5 Zenit St.Petersburg
3 Lokomotiv Moskow
2 Rubin Kazan
1 Alania Vladikavkaz
Current balance of power
In the Russian Premier League there have always been serial champion situations, but in recent years the strengthening of the provincial clubs has made the championships more open and difficult to predict. For example, teams such as FK Krasnodar or FK Rostov stood out in the league and are tough challengers for the established top teams. Zenit, Spartak and CSKA are still the three odds favorites for winning the Russian championship before the season.
Premier League record players
The Russian league record player is CSKA legend Sergei Ignashevich with 489 games. The defender played for the army club for 15 years, referring another club icon, Sergei Semak, to second place. Dmitri Loskov, the long-time Lokomotive star and top scorer in the history of the club, follows in third place. CSKA goalkeeper Igor Akinfejew is also an active player in the top five.
The top goal scorers of Russian Premier League
Despite the tendency towards expensive players from abroad, the top 10 of the Premier League’s list of top scorers is made up exclusively of Russian players. The number one and the best scorer is Oleg Veretennikov, who played for several clubs but scored most of his 143 goals mainly for Rotor Volgograd in the 1990s. Closely behind follows longtime Zenit striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov, followed by Dmitri Kirichenko, who scored his 129 goals for five different Premier League clubs. Already in the top 5 is Artem Dzyuba, an active player who has already passed the 100 goal mark and has a good chance of reaching the top if he can still score a few goals in the autumn of his career.