Anzhi Makhachkala-Volga Nizhny Novgorod preview

Big-spending Anzhi take on relegation-battling Volga in the 23rd round of the Russian Premier League season later on this evening (8.30pm local time). The clash will see Anzhi’s marquee buy Samuel Eto’o handed his home début at the 20,000-seater Dinamo Stadium, with the Cameroonian striker likely to make a first start for his new employers (despite travelling to Africa during the past fortnight for a Cup of Nations qualifier). During that time, those of his teammates not on international duty met Kazakhstani outfit Aktobe in a friendly scheduled as part of the preparation for the clash with Volga – playing in the top-flight for the first time since being reformed in 1998. Continue reading

Anzhi Makhachkala 0-1 Rubin Kazan

The formations that started the game. 4-4-2 vs 4-4-2 = barely a shot at goal, a bitty match with players fouling persistently due to being on top of one another, and an inevitable first half stalemate.

Matchday 21 of the Russian Premier League’s 2010 season saw ninth-placed Anzhi Makhachkala meet a Rubin Kazan side on the warpath after a midweek loss in the Champions League to Copenhagen.

Russia’s 2008 and 2009 champions made four alterations to the team that lost in Denmark, with Salvatore Bocchetti, Carlos Eduardo, Lasha Salukvadze and Vitali Kaleshin either rested, injured or dropped.

Anzhi made a few changes to the side that lost at Rostov last week, though most crucially, their passionate Dagestani fans were deprived of Jan Holenda, Andrei Streltsov and Igor Strelkov.

The match started in a frenetic fashion as both sides kept the ball in the air. This theme characterised the entire game as both sides opted to send goal-kicks towards and often into the opposition’s box.

While Rubin stood their defence on the halfway line during birthday boy Sergei Rhyzhikov’s long kicks of the ball, Anzhi kept banks of ‘4’ and ‘3’ deep in narrow, eyebrow shapes. Continue reading