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Russian Premier League leaders Lokomotiv Moscow look to extend lead


Moscow (AFP) – Russian Premier League leaders Lokomotiv Moscow host struggling Rubin Kazan on Saturday, hoping to extend their six-point advantage at the top of the table.

All eyes in Moscow will be on Friday’s World Cup draw, but three of the capital’s clubs are still in the Russian title race.

CSKA Moscow are seven points adrift of Lokomotiv and one behind second-placed Zenit St Petersburg, while champions Spartak are now just a point further back after their 3-1 victory over Roberto Mancini’s men last time out.

But despite Rubin being on a five-game winless streak, Lokomotiv coach Yury Semin has warned his side not to be over-confident.

“We’ve won our last three matches (in all competitions) and I hope we will continue going that way,” Semin told the Lokomotiv press service.

“I expect a tough game on Saturday as Rubin have nothing to lose. They have a good chance to boost their morale with a positive result against the league leaders.”

Zenit meanwhile welcome Ural Yekaterinburg to St Petersburg, needing to bounce back after just one win in seven league games.

“We didn’t deserve a defeat on Monday,” Mancini told the Zenit website. “We should have won that match as we dominated the play most of the time.

“Now we need to focus on the match with Ural. I expect a very interesting encounter as the Yekaterinburg outfit appear to be a well-organised team this season.”

Spartak, who are on an 11-game unbeaten run in the league, visit Arsenal Tula on Friday.

Coach Massimo Carrera said he was happy with his side’s recent performances.

“We’ve played well in recent league games and are currently in quite a good position in the title race,” he said. “Now we are all set to fight for the title up to the very end.”

Fixtures (all times GMT)

Friday

CSKA Moscow v Tosno, Arsenal Tula v Spartak Moscow (1630)

Saturday

Zenit St Petersburg v Ural Yekaterinburg, Dynamo Moscow v Rostov (1100), Lokomotiv Moscow v Rubin Kazan (1330)

Sunday

Ufa v Amkar Perm (1100), Krasnodar v Akhmat Grozny (1330), Anzhi Makhachkala v SKA Khabarovsk (1600)

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