On February 22, Russian football returned after a long winter period with Russian Cup matches, which immediately introduced the Lokomotiv-Spartak derby. Not without scandals and controversial decisions by the referee, the rojiblancos still won with a score of 1:0, but the new tournament regulations provide for a return match. What to expect in it?
Offseason and Game 1 Results
“Spartak” in the winter also did not waste time in vain. The rojiblancos won the RPL winter cup, beating Rostov on penalties after 0:0 in regulation time, Krasnodar (4:0) and Sochi (2:0). And the team completed off-season training with a match with the Uzbek “Andijan” (2:2).
Guillermo Abascal’s team completely “moved” Lokomotiv in the first half, as the statistics show:
Ball possession: 62% : 38%
shots on goal: 4:2
Goals Scored: 1:0
In the second half, the situation took a 180 degree turn. “Spartak” gave the ball to the opponent, almost did not attack, but again and again failed in defense. And even the appearance of Quincy Promes on the field did not affect the overall picture of the game. A very controversial first game for Spartak.
Lokomotiv, having suffered a lot in the first half of the season, had a good advantage in the winter control matches. Loko played seven games and won five, including over Sochi (2:0). Obvious problems arose only with the Malaysian “Johor” (0: 1) and the Uzbek “Bunyodkor” (1: 1).
However, the railwaymen were not prepared for the official match. Either the roster changed a lot over the winter, or head coach Mikhail Galaktionov simply could not properly set up the roster for a cold and difficult match (the temperature in Moscow reached almost -15).
Loko woke up only after the break, when the score was already 0-1, and then it became clear that the team had become noticeably stronger than the relative autumn part of the season. They even tied the score, but the referees saw a highly controversial offside. And yet Loko is to blame for the defeat itself, because Artem Dziuba himself had several chances to equalize the score, but the realization let him down.
In the first game, Guillermo Abascal surprised by debuting an initial eleven of purely Russian representatives, opting to leave foreigners on the bench. But I think that the second time the Spaniard will not dare to do this, but he will release the best of the best. Among other things, Quincy Promes deserves his starting place, without whom the rojiblanco attack sank in the first game, especially in the second half. Yes, he didn’t come onto the field very well, but in icy conditions it’s extremely difficult to join the game. Quincy needs a place from the start of the meeting.
Mikhail Galaktionov also surprised by releasing many of the club’s newcomers in the first game, including Artyom Dziuba, Igor Smolnikov and Sergey Pinyaev. It is true that the sense was not for everyone. Dzyuba had a chance, Smolnikov is not ready to go 90 minutes yet, and Pinyaev was lost on the field. Galaktionov’s main tactical victory in the first match was the appearance of Anton Miranchuk, who greatly improved the game. Obviously, Lokomotiv definitely needs his driving qualities in the second leg, even if you don’t remember that you need to come back on aggregate 0:1.
Statistics and facts
Spartak have scored against Lokomotiv in 11 home games in a row. Lokomotiv scored in 9 of the 11 away games against Spartak. Lokomotiv misses 7 games in a row. Lokomotiv will not beat Spartak in 5 matches in a row. The last victory took place in 2017. The main referee Sergei Ivanov showed 4 red cards in the last 10 matches. Spartak is the current winner of the Russian Cup. Lokomotiv is the most titled champion of the tournament (won 9 times).
The match will take place on February 27 at 20:00 Moscow time. You can plunge into the atmosphere of the upcoming fight and follow the match live in the Ligi Stavok application. Here is a broad line and the most interesting results. For all new players, the betting company has prepared a great gift – a bonus of up to 10,000 rubles on the Wheel of Fortune!