Spartak set to outclass promoted rivals Dinamo
Spartak won Russian Premier League by seven points
Russian Premier League
Dinamo, relegated in the midst of a financial and corruption crisis in 2015-16, stayed just a solitary season in the National League, going back up as champions.
But the jump from the second tier to the top echelons of the Premier League – and Spartak were at the very top last season – is a big one.
They haven’t beaten Spartak at the Khimki Arena in their previous eight meetings and the champions can kick off their league campaign with a victory.
Yuri Kalitvintsev’s men have had a decent summer since clinching the National League title. They went unbeaten through seven friendly matches, a sequence which included wins against solid foreign opposition such as Ludogorets and Qarabaq.
But Spartak are very much a step up in class.
They began last season with a shock Europa League loss at the hands of AEK Larnaca, a defeat which earned assistant coach Massimo Carrera the reins full-time. Carrera, who was Antonio Conte’s assistant at Italy, turned the Muscovite giants around, eventually winning the league by seven points.
They began their season by beating Lokomotiv Moscow in extra-time in the Super Cup on Friday night, a match in which former Milan and Shakhtar striker Luiz Adriano found the net.
1pt 11-10 Betway