Russian Premier League Betting Tips – Gameweek 25

Last Week:  0/3 Winning Bets = -£30

Overall Success Rate: 5 out of 18 Bets

Overall Profit: £70.10


Dasha and Sophia playing last weekend, and all predictions going well – what could go wrong?…

Last weekend started so well… Friday’s match between Mordovia v Amkar was the equivalent of an old-school clash between a Sam Allardyce Bolton and a Tony Pulis Stoke on paper, with all the promise of a drying wall of paint in terms of excitement, but for me it was a tense battle of nerves as the draw I had predicted emerged from the quagmire. Then Saturday saw all three further Russian Premier League matches go the way I had predicted on the Hong Kong Jockey Club website (yes, before you start sniggering at the back Russian football IS big among Hong Kong bettors – along with A League, Tippeligaen and the Championship…).

Sunday morning was even better, as the bright sunshine bathed Siberia, or my little part of it at least, in glorious warmth as my daughters dribbled a football around the square showing as much control as their father, if not more. It was the sort of moment that would make you feel rather smug if it was at someone else’s expense. And then came Gazovik Orenburg and Rubin Kazan. Both messed up my trebles that would have netted me a whopping £172 profit from two tips, but as it is I ended going home with nothing.

This still leaves me £80 up overall, although this week I will have to work twice as hard to get back in profit, so here goes…

Bet 1    TREBLE on Rubin to beat Terek, Krasnodar to beat Ufa and CSKA to beat Dinamo, £10 @ 7/2

Potential Return: £45


Roberto Martínez is not a man to shy away from hyperbole, and this week nor am I with a great treble

Rubin have been steadily building a head of steam to nowhere this spring with indifferent results on paper but quietly impressive form going forward. Emil Bergstrom scored a winner late on away to Ural while helping his defence to keep a clean sheet against one for the league’s highest scorers, and with an almost fully fit squad to choose from they will be well set to take on Terek. At the risk of coming over all Roberto Martínez, the individual odds of 13/10 offer phenomenal value, as Terek perform their traditional slide away from from a promising position with one win in their last four.

Krasnodar and CSKA are much more obvious elements to this bet, as they are the two most potent attacking sides after Zenit, and face two of the lowest scoring outfits around. True, Ufa have staged a comeback of sorts by winning their last two, but they still have the pressure of remaining in the relegation playoff places and face a much sterner task away to Krasnodar. The Moscow derby ought be a tight and tense affair as both the Khimki Arena’s tenants go head to head, but Dinamo are crumbling at a worrying rate, just one point above Ufa and the potential drop zone. CSKA can even point to their powerful Nigerian recruit Aaron Olanare having broken his duck, and will have far too much for their derby rivals.

Bet 2    Spartak v Mordovia: Over 2.5 first half goals, £10 @ 11/2

Potential Return: £65


If Quincy Promes could tear himself away from Artyom Dzyuba’s loving embrace, he could be in for a field day against Mordovia this weekend

Of all matches you could choose, this one has goals written all over it. Quincy Promes is the league’s top goalcscorer with 13 and spearheads the Spartak attack against a managerless Mordovia (well, at least without a permanent manager) at home. A win will give them the faintest of hopes of rejoining the race for European places and perhaps more pertinently will throw Dmitry Alenichev a line to rebuild his standing at the club.  Talk has spread of his position in charge being scrutinised by notoriously ruthless owner Leonid Fedun, and a thing but an eyecatching result here could condemn the former Champions League winner to the sack.

Going for over 2.5 first half goals is a bold call, but after three games without a win, and the hurt of the huge 5-2 defeat to great rivals Zenit last weekend still fresh on their minds, Spartak will be full of determination to get back on track. At the Petrovsky they went 2-1 up within half an hour showing ample ambition and enterprise, and were only undone by a Zenit masterclass/”outside assistance” – depending on who you believe – so don’t be put off by their results on paper. At 11/2 this tip offers a great chance to make a quick buck.

Bet 3    Rostov v Zenit: DRAW HT/DRAW FT £10 @ 7/2

Potential Return: £45


Kurban Berdeyev is a deeply religious man, and may need his faith if the tension gets too much against Zenit

This match is almost certainly going to be a title decider; the only challenge is going to be to see for whose benefit. Rostov and Zenit could hardly be two more contrasting clubs in almost every aspect from their financial clout, history of success and star names to their tactical approach and managerial styles. Let’s start with the stats: Zenit have scored 49 league goals, Rostov just 29. Rostov have conceded just six at home – where they are unbeaten – while Zenit have only kept nine clean sheets. Zenit’s top four goalscorers have scored 31 combined, Rostov’s have managed just 16.

Kurban Berdeyev has been linked with a move back to a revitalised Rubin, where he enjoyed unprecedented success winning two league titles, but for now he has assured everyone that his future lies in Rostov. His opposite number, Andre Villas-Boas, has already announced his departure this summer, but is masterminding a powerful charge towards top spot. The one statistic that tells more stories than any other, however, is found in Rostov’s home defeats column: a big fat zero. The intensity of this match will tell on both sets of players, and I do not expect Zenit to find much joy against Rostov’s mean defence.

Russian Premier League Betting Tips – Gameweek 24

Last Week: 2/3 Winning Bets = +£36

Overall Success Rate = 5 out of 15 bets

Overall Profit: £100.10


He was a happy man last night – but so was I for predicting the minute of the last goals. Shame only one Irishman was party to my calls…(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

I’m feeling good. Last night, painful as it was to watch Liverpool have a barnstorming night in Europe, I did enjoy predicting – to the minute, no less – both of the crucial last two goals. Again, I didn’t actually place any money on it, but I’m getting better at calling matches. One thing that anyone can predict is that Klopp will get more our of his players than most managers, especially the saggy Dutchman who shall not be named, and I suppose I can’t begrudge the Scousers their night in the sun when they produced such an exhilarating performance.

This week I am also on Russian Football News Betting Advice duty, so for the sake of variety I have a special treat for you – a dip into the world of FNL (Russia’s second tier) trebles. I will even be at the Tyumen – Shinnik match to live tweet for those of you sad enough to take any notice, but there is some amazing value to be found in some of these matches. Last week saw another successful week as I smashed the treble on Zenit, CSKA and Rubin with a collective goal difference of +11 and over 3.5 goals between Krasnodar and Ural (Smolov bagged four himself in a 6-0 romp), bringing in a healthy profit of £36, so you’re catching me at a good time…

Bet 1  Friday 15 April, Saturday 16 April & Monday 18 April

TREBLE on Mordovia to draw with Amkar, Zenit to beat Spartak & Ural to beat Rubin, £10 @ 57/5

Potential Return: £114


Artyom Dzyuba – eating his shirt here – is facing his old club on Saturday, and could have a crucial say in my treble

Let’s not beat around the bush: my trebles are on fire at the moment. Which probably means I’m setting myself up for a spectacular defeat this time, but what the hell – if you can’t enjoy your success, what’s the point? Anyway, there is good value this week as many matches are more closely matched than last week, but Mordovia v Amkar is an intriguing one in my books. Yes, the home side are coming off the back of a 7-1 thrashing,  and yes, their manager left under uncertain circumstances, but they have drawn more than anyone bar Terek and Kuban and are back in Saransk this week. Amkar are terrible scorers, and have won just two on their travels all season, so a point suits both.

The Derby of Two Cities is the glamorous tie of the weekend, with some spectacular attacking talent on show, and with one of the most successful visiting sides in Spartak. Dmitry Kombarov is missing through suspension at left back, which means yet another defensive reshuffle by Dmitry Alenichev is likely, which will play into Hulk and Artyom Dzyuba’s hands perfectly. The best value of the three however is 17/10 for Ural to beat Rubin at home; granted, the visitors are in decent form on the pitch, if not in the results column, but Ural are an explosive outfit at home, winning four of the last six at home and scoring at least three on five occassions. The overall treble returns are impressive; go on, have a punt!

Bet 2  Sunday 17 April

Kuban v Rostov DRAW, £10 @ 11/5

Potential Return: £32


Felipe Santana arrived as club employees were going unpaid – the symbol of a poorly run club. Good player, mind.

Kuban are an odd side; they swing between announcing unpaid salaries for months, then presenting Felipe Santana as their glamorous signing. Oleg Mkrtchyan has announced his withdrawal of financial support so there might be a slight uncertainty in the long term over their ability to bring in quality players, but they caught the eye last weekend by leading 2-1 at half time in Moscow against Spartak, and have begun to edge towards safety with one defeat in the last four matches.

Rostov are perhaps even stranger. A club that survived the relegation playoffs last season has ‘done a Leicester‘ and is threatening to deny powerhouses like CSKA and Zenit the title – check out the Russian Football New podcast where we discuss their fairytale – all built on a foundation of practical defence. Only 28 goals scored all season tells one story, but a league-high 12 clean sheets tells another. away from home they have been quite solid but ultimately unconvincing, drawing 0-0 in their last two away games against Kuban’s direct rivals in the table, Anzhi and Amkar. A straight forward result, and good returns. Hopefully…

Bet 3  Sunday 17 April

TREBLE on Tyumen to beat Shinnik, Gazovik to beat Luch Energiya Vladivostok & Spartak II to beat Torpedo Armarvir, £10 @ 34/5

Potential Return: £78


In my totally unbiased opinion, the Geolog is the greatest stadium in Siberia, where I will be this weekend

This treble offers the best value of the lot in my opinion. There’s not a lot of point going into huge detail on the teams as I’m sure very few of you will have even heard of them, yet alone have a sounds knowledge of their squads and current form. What I will do, however, is assure you that Tyumen are on a great run at home, other than a blip against Arsenal Tula three weeks ago. Why? Because I missed the match of course, but I will be there on Sunday.

Gazovik, meanwhile, have been the clear league leaders for months now, and at 10/11 against Luch Energiya Vladivostok – a club in such dire straits they might not even make it to the end of the season still in existence – it is robbing candy from a baby. Yes, it is a long away trip, but they’ve won their last two matches away and have the league’s top scorer in Artem Delkin. Spartak Moscow II have stormed to within two points of the promotion playoff places, and have a host of supremely talented youngsters, so facing Valeriy Karpin’s relegation zone dwellers should be a simple match. Torpedo began the season failing to score for the first seven games, but have since recovered their form; even still, I can’t see them holding off Evgeniy Bushmanov’s exciting young team.

Russian Premier League Betting Tips – Gameweek 23

Last Week: 1/3 Winning Bets = +£22

Overall Success Rate: 3 out of 12 Bets Won

Overall Profit: £64.10



The Grand National – that time of year when punters blindly throw money at something they don’t understand. Unlike Russian Premier League football…

Why is it that as soon as I call it a day with online betting I start to build a steady profit from predictions?? It was probably – *probably* – the right decision to cancel my Ladbrokes account a few years ago, but Murphy Law is striking with a vengeance. The good news is of course that for you fine people I am providing decent tips 🙂 Another successful week last time out, with the treble on Ural, Terek and Zenit coming in for an individual win of £52, making an overall gain. Ural were unusually shaky in their win over Ufa, scraping a narrow win which scuppered my first tip on Ural -1 handicap, but I was some way off with Krasnodar’s rampant display to thrash Dinamo in Moscow 4-1.

There are some significant mismatches this weekend, so I’ve had to dig a little deeper to find decent value. With this being the Grand National weekend lots of people will be sticking pins in newspapers to blindly put their money where their mouth has not right in being, so stick with the ever reliable Russian Premier League and you’ll do just fine. Right,  here we go…

Bet 1 Saturday 9 April

TREBLE on CSKA to beat Mordovia, Zenit to beat Amkar and Rubin to beat Dinamo, £10 @ 47/20

Potential Return: £33.50



Andrey Gordeev  has parted company with Mordovia, who ae now bottom of the RPL – but exactly why and for how long is a mystery. *Probably not alien abduction though – sorry…

Ok, ok, CSKA to beat rock-bottom Mordovia at home is hardly a groundbreaking prediction, even less so when one consider Andrey Gordeev resigned/was sacked/went on gardening leave/was abducted by aliens yesterday*, but it serves the purpose of bumping up the treble. I would even say 3/10 is good value given the total mismatch on all levels, while CSKA have the added incentive of regaining top spot from Rostov after the latter’s dull 0-0 draw last night against Anzhi. On paper, Zenit to beat Amkar is a safe bet too, but there are more grounds for double the value in the odds (3/5) in this one, as the hosts have only lost three matches at home in the league all season, and also have a Russian Cup semi final to spur them on in the season finale.

Zenit are hitting their stride now, and after dispatching CSKA last weekend they have shown they have the squad to deal with their strongest rivals. It might not be high scoring, it might not be pretty, but the champions have plenty in their locker and will relish the chance to move within three points of the summit (assuming CSKA complete their formalities against Mordovia). Which leaves Rubin to beat Dinamo; this offers by far the best value in light of their respective current form. Statistics show that Dinamo are stubborn away from home with nobody drawing more on their travels, but they don’t fully take into account their capitulation against Krasnodar, or Rubin’s impressive attacking threat in their Zenit defeat a few weeks back. A nice little earner to kickstart the weekend.

Bet 2 Sunday 10 April, Krasnodar v Ural

Over 3.5 goals, £10 @ 9/4

Potential Return: £32.50



Fyodor Smolov is a colourful character off the pitch, but a bloody good one on it

Krasnodar are actually in much better form on the road than they are in front of their own fans, but when you have Fyodor Smolov in goalscoring form and the thrilling talent of Vyacheslav Podberezkin – just check out his wonder striker against Dinamo – coming through, backed up by the Brazilians of Ari, Wanderson and Joaozinho, the craft of Odil Akhmedov and the vision of Mauricio Pereyra, you will always have a chance to score a hatful.  They have one of the most sensibly-constructed squads in the league, and can now call upon virtually an entirely fit squad.

Ural somehow have been involved in more goals than any other side than Zenit, who ae level on 67 goals for and against in 22 matches. This is mostly down to their defensive record, and more specifically their fullback positions which have given cause for concern. It’s uncertain whether Podberezkin will face is old side, but even though he left a gaping hole Ural filled it with the relatively hidden talents of Dmitry Korobov, and veteran forward Spartak Gogniev has found a new lease of life just when his side have needed it. I expect a home win, but Ural to contribute to the scoreline.

Bet 3 Monday 11 April, Krylia v Lokomotiv

Sergey Kornilenko to score first, Draw final result, £10 @ 30/1

Potential Return: £310



Even Blackpool fans will probably struggle to recall Sergei Kornilenko, but the Belarusian is an efficient target man

I admit that any first goalscorer relies on a slice of luck, and this tip looks as long as the odds, but bear with me on this one. Krylia have the most horrendous home record in front of goal of only four in ten matches this season, and have only just emerged from a barren patch that few clubs in the world could match. Prior to breaking the curse last week against Mordovia, they had scored just three in 13 matches since mid-September, winning once, and have not scored for six straight home matches. So why on earth am I pushing for a goalscoring bet?

Well, it’s quite simple really: when you wait this long to break a hoodoo as painful and lengthy as Krylia’s, the utter release is worth more than the statistics on a page. They will be in front of their own fans in Samara for the first time since the autumn too, which will give them a boost. Krylia really do have some quality attacking players, especially Andre-Pierre Gignac’s cousin Yoann Mollo and Gianni Bruno, with some more than capable front men in former Blackpool hitman Sergey Kornilenko. Adis Jahovic has blown hot and cold this season, and after Kornilenko opened the scoring last week he is a dead cert to start up front against Lokomotiv. The visitors have been on good, if not explosive, form of late, and will respond to going behind, but would probably accept a point away from home to keep on track.

Russian Premier League Betting Tips – Gameweek 22

Last Week: 0/3 Winning Bets = 30

Overall Success Rate: 2 out of 9 bets won


It’s a game of the narrowest margins: an inch or two can be the difference between losing all three bets or being hailed a visionary, and last week’s results sheet doesn’t look pretty, but it was oh so close… Now I’ve made my bed by promising a treble every week, I will have to lie in it, but last round saw Terek fail to beat Ural at home and Dinamo somehow squeeze only their second away win out of a trip to Bashkiria. In hindsight – that horribly inevitable consequence of losing bets – Terek against Ural could have been treated with more suspicion after the hullabaloo surrounding the last two fixtures with match-fixing allegations, but the form book lied to me.


Jamie Vardy – will he ever stop having a party?

In case you missed it last week, I also started an international betting tips series, which began well by calling Russia to win and over 2.5 goals against Lithuania, and threatened to explode with my best ever call with England v Germany. I went for what I thought was a wildly optimistic draw at half time, England to win at full time, but as it turns out I wasn’t ambitious enough! By the letter of the law it goes down as a lost bet, but calling England to win away to the world champions in a friendly?? Anyway, no time to wallow in self pity, time to roll up my sleeves and deliver some solid tips for this coming week. This time, I really can guarantee some solid returns, as the value in the markets this week is excellent. I would try and spin you some April Fool’s tale about having received inside information relating to some results, but I have a terrible poker face. Even from the other side of a keyboard. Here we go, let’s get back into winning ways.

*        *        *        *        *        *        *        *

Bet 1 Saturday 2 April, Ural v Ufa

Handicap -1 on Ural to win, £10 @ 3/10

Potential Return: £40

I will be driving along the delightful motorway to attend this one, so they’d better bloody well do me proud. The last time I attended Ural before the international break they put on a spectacular show to thrash Anzhi 4-2 with Spartak Gogniev bagging a hattrick, and Ufa are the only side to have conceded as many as Anzhi away from home. Goals are surely in this one for the hosts – only Zenit have scored more at home all season – especially as they have an almost fully fit attack, with only Zambian winger Chisamba Lungu and attacking midfielder Alexander Stavpets doubts.


Chisamba Lungu has explosive pace, but it’s not worth much on he treatment table

Ufa have lost five of their last eight away games by at least two goals, and haven’t scored more than once since their opening weekend against Spartak. In that run, they have only scored five goals in total, and their top goalscorer all season, Sylvester Igboun, only has three. The bottom five in the league table are separated by four points, and with Ufa sandwiched right in the middle of that mêlée they can hardly relax and produce free-flowing attacking football, even if they were capable of it. The cherry on the cake would be if former Arsenal and Wolves midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong came through the mixed zone – then I could chat about Russian testicles…

Bet 2 Saturday 2 April & Sunday 3 April

Treble on Ural to beat Ufa, Terek to beat Anzhi, Zenit to beat CSKA, £10 @ 21/5

Potential Return: £52

Ok, ok, I know it might be putting two of my three eggs in one basket by including an Ural victory in two bets, but the value is ridiculous 23/20 for that result alone. Ufa are not as much of a lost cause as Anzhi, but since early October they have been without their influential captain in midfield, Azamat Zaseev, and Emmanuel Frimpong has been a disappointing since arriving last summer. Terek to beat Anzhi is the nap of the weekend without a shadow of a doubt, and the fierce rivalry between the Dagestanis and the Chechens will only intensify the atmosphere further.


With this man in your side, you’ve always got a chance

The biggest match of the weekend, however, is easily Zenit against CSKA in St Petersburg. The two most expensively-assembled teams clash with three of the league’s top four scorers on show, but the momentum is with Zenit. Yes, CSKA won their last RPL fixture against Kuban, but that was hardly an accurate barometer, as before that win they had only managed three goals in their previous six league games. Zenit, meanwhile, have scored six in their last two games and have the unquantifiable brilliance of Hulk.

Bet 3 Monday 4 April, Dinamo v Krasnodar

Draw, £10 @ 21/10

Potential Return: £31


Stanislav Dragun is a real gem of the Russian League

Dinamo have been quietly impressive since the winter break without really pulling up many trees, thanks in no small part to their sensible recruitment and continued faith in their youth players who have won he Russian youth championship the last two years running. Fatos Beciraj looks an aggressive handful with more energy than Pavel Pogrebnyak, but Stanislav Dragun is the finest signing of them all; he is a class above most other holding midfielders in the league, and is able to control play calmly but effectively, and his nous will make Krasnodar’s life that bit more difficult.

The Bulls are a quality outfit, but due to the compact nature of the business end of the league table, they find hems elves right down in 7th place and will be concerned about slipping any further if they wish tot keep their ambitions of European qualification alive. They have scored 12 in their last five away matches, but only scraped a narrow 1-0 win over Mordovia last time on the road, and with the added pressure of the team‘s above will be happy to avoid defeat.