After 19 weeks, it’s a good time to take a look at the situation in the Russian Premier Liga (formerly known as the Russian Premier League). Zenit keeps on taking the lead in the title race and it seems like there is no other club that can stop them. However, the situation among other teams is really getting interesting with four clubs are going nose to nose below them!
A lot can change after the resumption of the championship in early 2020 following the winter break. The capabilities of all the teams participating in the fight for top spot as well as the coveted Champions League places may change. First of all, fortunes could improve if one of the clubs in the fight has a successful winter transfer window. In addition, it’s likely that someone’s schedule will become easier due to the exiting out from a European competition.
Theoretically, for the 11 remaining weeks, anything can happen. But in truth it’s unlikely that Zenit’s will lose its advanced position as leaders given their current form. Never in the history of the Russian Premier Liga has a leader lost such a spectacular margin over his pursuers. A gap of +10 points is surely a sign of champions elect.
Although the fact that both Kransnodar and CSKA (who are taking second and third position in the league respectively) are done with Champions League may affect the situation. It has always been a case in the Russian Premier League that international competitions require more strength and endurance, and it usually influences the final positions in the home championship.
Taking a look into upcoming springs games, there are only three potentially dangerous games for Zenit – matches with CSKA, Rostov and Krasnodar. Even if they were to lose all these matches, Zenit should still remain at the top of the table. At the same time, the likelihood of such a failure seems extremely low. Obviously, Zenit exceeds above all the above teams in terms of sheer talent at its disposal, and over the winter transfer window the squad is unlikely to change significantly.
All these factors might sound extremely positive if you’re a Zenit fan, but for the football lovers it looks more like a disaster. For the second year in a row, intrigue is being killed long before the end of the championship. This means that on the grander scale that Russian league became weaker overall.
Post by Irina Kuzina. Follow her now on Instagram.