Our prediction for this Russia Premier League match:
Zenit will be aiming to retain top position in the Russian Premier League standings when they host Ural at their Saint-Petersburg Stadium on Matchday 22. Despite dropping four points in total in back-to-back draws with Lokomotiv Moscow and Ufa, the Zenitchiki are still on the right track to win the title, but they can’t afford any complacency in the remainder of the season.
Former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic returns from suspension, and seeing that key attacker Artem Dzyba has overcome his injury, we believe that punters can find value in betting on the hosts. Ural, on the other hand, failed to impress in a 2-0 loss to Sochi, and we do not believe that they are capable of spoiling Zenit’s party at Saint-Petersburg Stadium. You should bear in mind that Zenit are eyeing their fifth consecutive win over Ural in the Russian top flight.
Highlighted Player (Yaroslav Rakitskiy):
Yaroslav Rakitskiy is a professional footballer who was born on 3 August, 1989. Rakitskiy made his Shakhtar Donetsk debut on 31 August, 2009 in a 3-1 win over Zorya. It has to be noted that he came as a substitute in the second half of the match.
The Ukrainian footballer who plays as both centre and a left back, made 24 league appearances for the club in the 2009/2010 season and he has been playing for the Miners ever since. Rakitskiy made his Ukraine debut on 10 October, 2009 in a 1-0 win over England in a World Cup qualifying match. Just four days later he scored his first goal for the Ukrainian national team, finding the net in a thrilling 6-0 victory over Andorra.
Yaroslav made two appearances for Ukraine at the 2016 European Championship finals in France, in the opener against Germany (0-2) and in a 2-0 loss to Northern Ireland. His contract with Shakhtar Donetsk expires on 30 June, 2018.
Highlighted Team (Zenit):
Zenit Saint Petersburg are a Russian football club that was founded by workers of Leningrad Metal Plant in 1925. Over the years the Zenitchiki have established themselves as one of the dominant forces in Russian football, but they won their first domestic trophy in 1984.
Zenit have been impressive in the national championship in the 21st century, winning four league titles, while clinching two Russian Cups (2010, 2016). The Zenitchiki are a regular participant of the Champions League group stages and in 2008 they did well to win the UEFA Cup. The Russian outfit defeated Glasgow Rangers (2-0) in the title game, with Denisov and Zyryanov both finding the net in the final of the competition.
Zenit play their home games at Krestovsky Stadium, the venue that was opened in 2016. Gazprom are the club’s main sponsors and the colour of their home shirts is white-sky blue. Brazilian ace Hulk is probably the most notable footballer who played for Zenit.