Author: Tony MacDonald
Published: 13:27 19/07/2013
Last season's Russian Premier League runners-up Zenit face a tricky tie against Rubin at Central Stadium this Sunday, watch a free live football stream of Rubin Kazan v Zenit St Petersburg from 10.30 (BST)
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After landing their maiden Russian Premier League title in 2008 and following it up with success in 2009, things have gone a litle quiet for Rubin Kazan who have not managed a top three finish in the last two seasons. They got their 2013-14 campaign underway with a 1-1 draw away at Kuban Krasnodar last Sunday and will be aiming to avoid defeat against Zenit to prevent losing early ground to one of their title rivals. Veteran Russian right back Roman Sharanov will captain the side which also features Turkish star Gokdeniz Karadeniz and talented French midfielder Yann M'Vila.
While Rubin have a handful of notable players, Zenit boast a much greater depth in quality with the likes of former Juventus defender Dominico Criscito, Portuguese midfielder Danny, Belgian international Axel Witsel and former Bayern Munich midfielder Anatoliy Tymoshchuk playing alongside Brazilian star Hulk. Their squad was bolstered further in this summer transfer window when Andrey Arshavin swapped The Gunners for The Anti-aircraft Gunners and returned to the side he won the Russian league title with in 2007, ending his four year stay at Arsenal.
With so much quality in the side, FC Krasnodar were easy meat for Zenit on Wedneday who won the away fixture 2-1 without much fuss. They will be looking to oust CSKA Moscow as Russia's top side this season and they can make a statement of their intent by beating Rubin on Sunday.
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Zenit St Petersburg are acknowledged as the third most successful team in Russian Premier League history with three titles, while Rubin Kazan have lifted the trophy on two occasions with all of the combined championships between the two sides being won within the last seven years.
William Hill Match Odds:
7/5 Zenit St Petersburg
9/5 Rubin Kazan
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