“Rubin” and “Khimki” last season took fourth and eighth place in the RPL standings. In this draw of the Russian championship, the teams are less successful – Kazan after 22 rounds are in 10th place (25 points), and Khimki – last, 16th (18). The distance of the club from the capital of Tatarstan from the zone of head-to-head matches for the right to stay in the RPL for next season is five points. The Moscow team is in the zone of direct relegation to the first division of the Olympus – National Football League (FNL-1), lagging behind the 12th line and the retention zone in the RPL is four points.
Since the beginning of 2022, Rubin has played four matches in the Russian championship, as well as one game in Betsy – the Russian Cup. In the Premier League, Kazan won over Grozny’s Akhmat (2: 1) and lost to Zenit St. Petersburg (2: 3), Rostov (1: 2) and CSKA (1: 6). In the national cup, the team led by Leonid Slutsky beat FNL-1 Volgograd “Rotor” (2: 1) and reached the quarterfinals of the tournament. At this stage, Rubin will play against local Yenisei on April 20 in Krasnoyarsk.
Khimki changed their head coach three days before the resumption of the season – Sergei Yuran replaced Igor Cherevchenko. In the first two games under his leadership, the team alternately lost to Moscow’s Dynamo (0: 3) and Lokomotiv (2: 3), then drew with Sochi (0: 0) and beat Ekaterinburg’s Ural (1). : 0). In the game with the Urals, the ten-match winless streak of the Moscow team in the RPL was interrupted – before that it won the national championship in mid-October (2: 0 in a home match against “Akhmat”).
During the March break in the Russian championship, Slutsky was conditionally disqualified until the end of the 2021/22 season by the decision of the Ethics Committee of the Russian Football Union (SCC RFU). The specialist was punished for criticizing, including using profanity, the main referee of the match of the 21st round of the RPL against “Rostov” (1: 2) Vitaly Meshkov. On Friday, he will have to do without two disqualified players – midfielder Alexander Lomovitsky and striker Vitaly Lisakovich.
On March 7, the International Football Federation (FIFA) decided to allow foreign players and coaches of RPL clubs to suspend contracts unilaterally due to the situation in Ukraine. Players can suspend employment contracts with clubs until June 30. Croatian defender Silvije Begic and Georgian midfielder Hvic Kvaratskheli took advantage of this option. Midfielders Mikhail Kostyukov, Oliver Abildgor and Hwan Yin Bom will also miss the match in Kazan due to injuries.
Following FIFA’s decision, Brazilian and Swedish defenders Bruno Viana and Philippe Daguerrest, as well as Cameroon striker Lamkel Ze, have suspended their contracts with Khimki. Defender Egor Danilkin and midfielder Pavel Mamaev will not play against Rubin due to injuries. Also in question is the appearance on the field of defense players Brian Idov and Yuri Zhirkov.
“Rubin” and “Khimki” for 21 years of confrontation in Russian history met in three official tournaments. At the beginning of the century, both teams played in the second strongest division of domestic football, where they played four matches (two victories of Kazan, one victory of the Moscow team, one draw). They met four more times in the Russian Cup (three Khimki victories, one Rubin victory). In the Russian championship, the clubs played nine matches, “Rubin” won five with two draws and two defeats.
The program of the 23rd round of the RPL will continue on Saturday with four matches – “Wings of the Soviets” in Samara will host “Ufa” (starting – 14:00 Moscow time), “Arsenal” in Tula will meet “Akhmat” (14:00 Moscow time), Rostov “Will play at home with” Nizhny Novgorod “(16:30 Moscow time). The central meeting of the day will be the Moscow derby – “Locomotive” at “RZD-Arena” will host “Spartak” (19:30 Moscow time). The tour will end on Sunday with three matches – Krasnodar will play against Moscow’s Dynamo (14:00 Moscow time) and CSKA will host Ekaterinburg’s Ural (16:30 Moscow time). In the central game of the day, the leader of the RPL, the current champion of St. Petersburg “Zenith” on the road will play with “Sochi” (19:00 Moscow time).