FK Khimki vs. Zenit St. Petersburg
July 24, 2021 10:30 am EDT
The Line: Over 2.5 -150, Under 2.5 +115
(Click here for latest betting odds)
FK Khimki is welcoming Zenit St. Petersburg to Arena Khimki in round 1 of the Russian Premier League. Khimki is an average Russian team that ended last season in 8th place, but they haven’t won a single friendly game in the preseason. Zenit has won the title last season, and they have won the Russian Super Cup just a few days ago.
As I’ve mentioned, Khimki has been terrible in the preseason, and they are on a 4-game losing streak during which they conceded 10 goals while scoring only 3 goals. Khimki has scored 35 goals in 30 games last season, which isn’t bad, and their defense was solid as well with 39 conceded goals, but that wasn’t enough for the Conference League spot, however, Khimki has stayed far away from the relegation zone. Khimki doesn’t have a player they could sell for a lot of money, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t active on the market. Khimki has signed a bunch of players in free transfers, but they have also lost a few players. I don’t think we should expect much from Khimki this season, possibly the same spot as last season, but I think that is their maximum at the moment.
Zenit is the best team in Russia, and they have proved that by winning the title last season and winning the Super Cup against Lokomotiv Moscow a few days ago. Zenit has had 44% of ball possession in that game, 5 shots on goal, 6 corner kicks, 4 big chances created, and a decent 83% of the correct passes. Zenit was the better team in this match, and they have deservedly won this game 3-0. As of right now, Zenit hasn’t lost any of their key players, but they have made one notable signing, and that was Chistyakov from Rostov for 3.58 million Euros. With CSKA being down in the dumps, Zenit barely has any competition in Russia as of late, and I don’t think it will be different this season. Sure, Lokomotiv Moscow could be a threat, Spartak Moscow as well, but that’s about it. Zenit has had 2 leading goalscorers in Russia last season with 19 and 20 goals, and both of those players are still in the club. Zenit will also be playing in the Champions League this season, but the groups have yet to be decided.
Khimki has never beaten Zenit in the past, while Zenit won 9 of 10 games against Khimki. Zenit is the better team here, they are in much better form, and I think they will start the new season with a win. I’m taking Zenit on the road.