Russian lead­ers Zenit bid­ding to stay un­beaten

The Borneo Post (Sabah) - - SPORT -

MOSCOW: Russian Pre­mier League lead­ers Zenit St Peters­burg re­turn from the in­ter­na­tional break look­ing to main­tain their un­beaten start to the cam­paign against Arse­nal Tula on Sun­day.

Roberto Mancini's men un­ex­pect­edly dropped points in a 2-2 draw at bot­tom club Anzhi Makhachlala in their pre­vi­ous league match, but are two points clear of sec­ond-placed Loko­mo­tiv Moscow, who visit Ufa.

Krasnodar, who take on CSKA Moscow Saturday, sit third, five points fur­ther back.

Zenit have won all four of their pre­vi­ous meet­ings with Arse­nal with­out con­ced­ing.

"The ti­tle race in the Russian league is tight and ev­ery mis­take may turn out to be costly at sea­son's end," Ital­ian Mancini told Zenit's web­site.

"We need to switch our fo­cus back on the do­mes­tic league at once as we have no right to drop points again. Zenit need to win on Sun­day."

Reign­ing cham­pi­ons Spar­tak, who ended a four-match win­less streak with a 2-0 vic­tory over Ural last time out, travel to Akhmat Grozny on Fri­day.

Spar­tak coach Massimo Car­rera said that the in­ter­na­tional break gave his in­jured play­ers time to re­cover, as they look to breathe new life into their ti­tle de­fence af­ter a poor start to the sea­son which has left them lan­guish­ing in sixth place.

"This pause def­i­nitely served for our team's good," he told Spar­tak's press ser­vice. "We've got an op­por­tu­nity to have some rest, while our in­jured play­ers had time to re­cover.

"We have no­body to blame ex­cept our­selves for mak­ing our life more com­pli­cated this sea­son.

"We've con­ceded too many goals and wasted our win­ning chances too of­ten. But though Zenit are 11 points ahead, I be­lieve we're still in the ti­tle race.” - AFP

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