Arsenal Tula vs Spartak MoscowFree
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Today’s free tip is in the Russian Premier League encounter between Arsenal Tula and Spartak Moscow. The home team are known in the Premier League for being rather hard to beat at home. This game might be different, though, as only wins count for both teams now.
Spartak Moscow are still gunning for that second UEFA Champions League place, and they’re being pushed hard by local rivals Lokomotiv Moscow. Rubin Kazan are out of it now, after they lost their Georgian superstar to injury, but even PFC Sochi are playing with enough drive at the moment to make a legitimate claim for that place. Spartak Moscow sure as hell can’t afford to take this situation lightly; they need to win this game. At the time of writing this preview, Zenit vs Lokomotiv has not been played so excuse me if I am wrong in what I’m about to say, but I’d like to believe that Lokomotiv would not win that game. That should make winning today all the more necessary for Spartak, in my opinion.
They’ve got enough quality to do it, too. It would be a lovely send off for German boss Tedesco, who has been superb for them. He’s almost certainly heading back to Germany to try and get his old club Schalke 04 out of the Bundesliga 2, which looks an incredibly hard task but who knows? He’s put together the best Spartak team I’ve seen for ages, and I’d like to emphasise the word ‘team’ here. Many Spartak teams of the past have simply operated as individuals, rather ironically with new Dutch signing Promes carrying them for at least one of those campaigns. This team really does operate as a unit though, and I love it.
Tedesco has had money to spend, of course – Spartak are never short in that department. He’s done it by promoting youngsters to the first-team though. Yes, having Promes back is a lovely option for them but that’s especially true because they don’t over-rely on him anymore. Tedesco has gotten the best out of Ponce, more than I’ve seen from the Argentinian in a long time, and he’s the one that figured out that playing Henrik’s son through the middle would result in him hitting double figures this season. Target man Sobolev has been a huge hit, seen as the new Dzyuba (if such a thing can even exist), and bringing through the likes of Umyarov, Bakaev, and Maslov has really returned a sense of identity to the capital club, which has been missing for a lot of years.
Tedesco has fused locals with impressive foreigners expertly during his time in Russia, which is honestly the last thing I expected from him after his dismal managerial spell in Germany. He’s done so well that the Spartak fans have been campaigning for him to stay when his contract expires, and that takes a lot. I mean, Moses, Larsson, Ponce – they’ve all had their moments, as has centre-back Gigot. They’d not have managed a single thing without the locals fighting and restoring pride to this team though. It’s been beautiful to watch unfold, actually. I can’t overlook Ayrton either; the full-back has arguably been their best player this season. For me though, their best is defensive midfielder Kral; he’s been an absolute rock.
The problem Spartak have today is that Arsenal Tula also need to win. In fact, if they don’t win, they’re condemned to either being automatically relegated or appearing in the relegation play-off. With Ural Sverdlovskaya Oblast’s last two games being against FK Rostov and Lokomotiv Moscow, Arsenal Tula escaping this mire isn’t quite so far-fetched as the league table would have you believe. It does required them to win against Spartak though, and that’s a tall order for most Russian teams nowadays.
Over the years, Arsenal Tula have always ensured that Spartak do not enjoy this trip. Spartak have won it more than their hosts, but it’s never been done easily. With times desperate for the home team, I expect more intensity and conviction than ever before, and that makes me wonder if Spartak can win it or not. I think they’ve been amazing this season, but underneath all this brilliance that Tedesco has assembled remains a team that is prone to bottling it. We’ll see if that happens again this time. What irony of it does, eh? Against a team led by ex-Spartak Moscow legend Parfenov!
Arsenal Tula obviously aren’t as good as Spartak, but they do have threats to be wary of. Panchenko, Dordevic, and Lutsenko have all been around for a long time, and all of them are very hard to deal with in the air. With the legs of the Kangwa brothers, and both Tkachev and Kostadinov making things happen for them, Arsenal Tula have a very solid wide game to call upon. Ayrton’s forward runs could even prove to be a negative today for that reason. I don’t believe Arsenal Tula can contain Spartak; their opponents are simply too good. However, they’re capable of making them work for it, and that’s what I am banking on here.
Essentially, both teams need the win, and there’s no alternative but for both to go for it. To me, that makes this match an over 2.5 goals affair.
Verdict: Over 2.5 goals at 4/5.
As ever, if there are any explanations required then please feel free to post a comment! For the remainder of my thoughts on today’s games, see below, although I feel compelled to write that the below are not necessarily my tips but merely my thoughts. For confidence ratings, you’ll need to go to the members section here.
FC Copenhagen vs AGF
English Premier League:
West Bromwich Albion vs Wolverhampton Wanderers
Burnley vs West Ham United
FC Honka Espoo vs IFK Mariehamn
FC Lahti vs Inter Turku
SJK vs KTP
HIFK vs Haka Valkeakoski
AC Oulu vs Ilves
Mainz 05 vs Hertha Berlin
German Bundesliga 2:
Fortuna Dusseldorf vs Karlsruher SC
Israeli Ligat Ha’al:
Hapoel Be’er Sheva vs Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Hapoel Tel-Aviv vs Hapoel Kfar Saba
Hapoel Haifa vs Beitar Jerusalem
Italian Serie A:
Torino vs Parma
Portuguese Liga 2:
Vilafranquense vs Varzim
Academica de Coimbra vs Arouca
Romanian Liga 1:
FCSB vs CFR Cluj
Russian Premier League:
Arsenal Tula vs Spartak Moscow
Spanish Primera Liga:
Sevilla CF vs Athletic Club
Djurgarden vs Malmo FF
Mjallby Solvesborg vs Degerfors
Turkish Super Lig:
Istanbul BB vs Ankaragucu
Yeni Malatyaspor vs Kayserispor
Kasimpasa vs Alanyaspor
Fenerbahce vs BB Erzurumspor
Gazisehir Gaziantep vs Sivasspor
Enjoy your free betting tips!