CSKA Moscow v Lokomotiv Moscow Betting Tips: Army Men to come out on top in the Moscow derby
Football writer and Russian football expert Thomas Giles previews the upcoming Russian Premier League match and Moscow derby between CSKA Moscow and Lokomotiv Moscow.
This match is the second Moscow derby of the week after Dynamo and Spartak played out a 2-2 draw on Tuesday. Hopefully, Friday night’s fixture between CSKA and Lokomotiv is just as entertaining.
Although CSKA are one of the more likely candidates for the title this season, most people still consider them outsiders behind the likes of Spartak Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg. Despite this, they got off to a good start in the opening round of Russian Premier League fixtures with a 3-1 win away at Anzhi Makhachkala.
Usually we associate the Army Men with being strong at the back but weak up front. However, we saw the reverse in that aforementioned opener against Anzhi which means we could perhaps see a more exciting CSKA this season. Having said that, it must be noted that Anzhi have never been great at the back and so this glut of CSKA goals is more than likely a one-off.
Koni had a good debut season at the CSKA Arena last term with just one Premier League defeat on home soil. Furthermore, going into this match, CSKA certainly hold the advantage over Lokomotiv with no home defeats in the last six meetings between the two sides, including a 4-0 thrashing last season.
Lokomotiv also got their season off to a winning start at the weekend by beating Arsenal Tula, however, this match against their city rivals will no doubt be a much tougher affair.
The fact that the Railroaders recorded a victory over a newly-promoted club by just a one-goal margin exemplifies where their problems lie – in the final third. Lokomotiv are solid at the back and have some of the best individual defensive players in the division in the likes of Vedran Corluka and Solomon Kverkvelia, however, they have still not solved their striking problem in this summer window which is a huge concern going into the rest of the campaign. Ari is a proven player in the Russian top flight but, other than that, there is no depth to the attack.
Yuri Semin’s men were good on their travels towards the back end of the last campaign and that previously mentioned thrashing at the hands of CSKA was their only defeat in their final eight Premier League away matches of the 2016/17 season. However, Lokomotiv’s record in recent Moscow away derbies makes for bad reading with no wins since October 2015.
CSKA are rightfully the favourites here and, in fact, I am surprised that they are not priced lower than the current market rate of 3/4. Even so, those odds are still pretty poor value. I think a good shout here is CSKA Moscow to Win and Under 3.5 Goals Total at a profitable 11/10. Both of these sides are much better at the back than they are going forward so I doubt there will be many chances but CSKA should make the home advantage count here.
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