Khimki vs Zenit: how will the champion start the new season?
Khimki have never beaten Zenit. Will this tradition continue? We made a prediction for this game of the first round of the Russian Premier League, which you can find below.
Last season, Khimki surpassed the fans' wildest expectations - under the leadership of Igor Cherevchenko, the team showed high-quality football and even fought for the European competitions zone at one point. However, the Red-and-blacks finished eighth, behind the fifth Sochi by eight points. The club has not yet bought any star players. We will mention Brian Idowu, who was finally bought from Lokomotiv, and also the signing of the Swedish midfielder Besard Sabovic, who previously played for Djurgardens.
Zenit St. Petersburg
Zenit failed at the European club competition last season, but once again won the champions title in the Russian Premier League. Only Spartak really competed with Sergei Semak's team at some point, but they couldn't carry on for the whole season. Zenit also won the Russian Super Cup before the start of the new season: the club from St. Petersburg defeated Lokomotiv with a score of 3:0.
The last two games between the clubs ended with this score.
This bet played in the last two head-to-head games.
Penalties were given in two of Zenit's last three games.
Zenit showed a very solid game in the Super Cup and left no chance for Lokomotiv. The defending champion will certainly strive to start the season with a victory. As the last games have shown, Khimki didn't get in shape yet, and they don't have anything that can level the class difference.
We believe that the hosts have no chance. Our prediction - Asian handicap (-1.5) to Zenit.
Prediction: Handicap (-1.5) to Zenit
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Zenit is rightfully considered the favourite and they will certainly play from a position of strength. At the same time, it is obvious that neither team has reached its optimal shape yet. Khimki will try to park the bus, and Zenit will not try to issue a crushing victory. That's why we wouldn't expect many goals in the game.
Our second bet - total under 3 goals.