Later on this evening, Spartak Moscow do battle with Marseille at France’s largest football stadium, the Stade Vélodrome.
After finishing in 2nd place in the 2009 edition of the Russian Premier League, this season – which concludes in a matter of weeks – has been a resounding disappointment for Krasno-belye.
Coach Valeri Karpin has too regularly changed tactics and personnel, and defensive errors have been inexcusably frequent and damaging to the nation’s best supported club.
The squad has a bloated look (a recurring theme as there were 80 players on the books in 2003), although the midfield possesses balance – numerous game-changing magicians, a plethora of wingers and several hardened holding midfielder.
It’s in defence though where Spartak lack real quality and depth, as the centre backs, for starters, are far too gung-ho; easily lured into leaving gaps, and shorn of that canny aggression required to fight at the highest level of club football. Continue reading