Match Time:7/16/2019 01:00 Tuesday(GMT+8)
Lokomotiv Moscow have rebuilt sensibly by reinforcing their defence with two 22-year-olds - Ufa’s Dmitri Zhivoglyadov and Brazilian centre back Murilo Cerqueira - while also tying down loanee Grzegorz Krychowiak to a permanent contract. Nine senior players have been released, including Manuel Fernandes, Igor Denisov and Dmitri Tarasov. Boris Rotenberg and Jefferson Farfan are both injured.
Rubin Kazan have signed eight players aged 26 or under, with 32-year-old full-back Vitaliy Denisov the only concession to experience. Chief among them are Silvije Begic and striker Yevgeni Markov, the latter on loan, although Ihor Kalinin and Ruslan Kambolov have both been sold and Aleksandr Bukharov and Vitali Ustinov have been released. Vladimir Granat is still injured. Legendary manager Kurban Berdyev has left by mutual consent.
Injured/Unavailable: Boris Rotenberg (cruciate ligament), Jefferson Farfan (knee)
Injured/Unavailable: Vladimir Granat (fibula fracture)
MAIN PREDICTION: HOME WIN
Lokomotiv Moscow sealed their fourth domestic trophy in just over two years with an impressive 3-2 win over league champions Zenit St. Petersburg in the Russian Super Cup last weekend. Notoriously hard to beat at home, Lokomotiv only lost once on their own turf in the league last season (9 wins, 5 draws).
Rubin Kazan lost out to Zenit St. Petersburg in a messy battle to sign Aleksei Sutormin. Away from home they were very poor in the league last season, with just one win, eight draws and six losses on the road. No other side outside the relegation zone scored fewer away league goals either.
Expect Lokomotiv Moscow to scroll to a simple win.
SECOND PREDICTION: FIRST TEAM TO SCORE - LOKOMOTIV MOSCOW
Lokomotiv Moscow have scored first in their last four home league matches. In addition, they had lost just once at half time in home league matches last season. Expect them to open the scoring.
HEAD TO HEAD
Rubin Kazan are winless in their last four league meetings, drawing two and losing two.