Russian Premier League: FC Rostov VS Zenit St. Petersburg Preview
Zenit St. Petersburg under Luciano Spalletti has left St. Petersburg (Russia) to face one of their eternal rivals FC Rostov at Rostov-on Don tomorrow. The news was confirmed in the website of Zenit St. Petersburg.
The two clubs have faced each other 37 times since the Russian Premier League was established in the early 1990's. The first meeting between the two clubs took place on Rostov on Don on July 14, 1990.
During the encounters between the two clubs, FC Rostov defeated Zenit St. Petersburg in their hometown five times until 1997. The reason was that Zenit St. Petersburg performed poorly secondary to relegation, finances, and disorganization possibly related to the problems in Russia at the time.
In spite of the poor performance by Zenit, both teams managed a draw in the year 1994. Zenit St. Petersburg (eventually) defeated FC Rostov in 1997.
FC Rostov has managed to show its strength by defeating Zenit in the years 1999, 2004, and 2009. The possibilities of a victory by FC Rostov appears to be slim in this match.
Zenit St. Petersburg is currently in first place in the Russian Premier League with 54 points. FC Rostov is in 10th place with 28 points and is in the middle of a salary scandal, which affects the morale of the team.
Alexei Rebko, Oleg Ivanov, Andrei Proshin, and Alexander Khokhlov complained of lack of pay from FC Rostov for more than three months. The players complained that they were denied an opportunity to train with their club.
Rebko, Ivanov, Proshin, and Khokhlov took FC Rostov before the Russian Football Union. They also submitted their resignations with the demand of receiving back pay.
Yuri Belous (FC Rostov Director) has denied any wrongdoing but there was no further elaboration on the club's response. The only thing that can transpire from this mess is a prediction.
I am willing to predict FC Rostov 0-3 Zenit St. Petersburg.
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