The Russian Premier League 2011-2012 season gets underway on 12 March 2011. Here we provide information about the league’s unique format for this season, a brief preview of the season, and links to some great sites that you can visit for further information.
Russian Premier League Format[jcolumns model=”4,2″]This season of the Premier League will be an extra-long one – it will actually last for a season as a half, played in two chunks. This is because Russian football is in the process of switching from a spring-autumn season to an autumn-winter season to synchronise its calendar with the rest of European football.
This season will begin in March 2011, as normal, and play will continue until November 2011 (again, as normal). During this period, each team will play each other twice – once home and once away. After a break for the winter, the teams will be divided into two groups – the Championship group consisting of the top eight teams, and the Relegation group, consisting of the bottom eight teams.
Once the season resumes in March 2012, teams in each group will play all the other teams in their group home and away to determine the final league standings. The top teams in the Championship Group will compete for the Russian Premier League Title and for qualification to the European Champions League and Europa League. The teams in the Relegation group will battle to avoid the drop – the unfortunate bottom two teams will be relegated automatically, and the two teams above them will play off for survival against the teams that finished third and fourth in the first division.[jcol/][jbox color=”blue”]RPL 2011 Teams
Krylya Sovetov Samara
Volga Nischny Novgorod
Zenit St. Petersburg
Following a summer break, the 2012-2013 season (which will revert to a normal length) will begin.
Who will win the Russian League title?
Zenit St Petersburg were the 2010 Russian Premier League Champions, and they’ll be looking to defend their title in 2011-2012. They’ll face stiff competition from CSKA Moscow and Rubin Kazan, who finished second and third respectively last year. All three qualified for the UEFA Champions League, and look the likeliest contenders this year. One shouldn’t write off Spartak Moscow or Lokomotiv Moscow, though – they both finished in the top five last year and also qualified for European football.
For a comprehensive preview of the 2011-2012 season, I recommend visiting goal.com – they’ve got information on every team’s key personnel and prospects, plus a prediction on where they’ll finish.
Sadly, we don’t have the resources to provide the latest Russian Premier League scores and match reports. Footy Matters do, though, and I recommend checking out their Russian football page for the latest news.
Although we can’t do scores, we are (through the magic of widgets) able to provide you with the most up to date Russian Premier League table, so head on over if you want to see how your favourite team is doing!
Finally, if you speak Russian, you can always visit the official Russian Premier League site – lots of information and news about all the Russian league teams.