Another weekend full of great football from all around the world is here. We remind you our new
Levels Format – if you are new in our recap, take a look for our
Amateur recommendation; for the more experienced followers, we have the
Professional level ; and for our addicts we have our special
World Class delicatessen. Enjoy, and feel free to leave your feedback about our choices.
(All the hours are in CET local time)
Amateur (Like this player)
What? Spartak Moscow – CSKA Moscow (Russian Premier League)
When? Friday, 2030
Where? Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow
Why? Despite what many tend to think, the Spartak and CSKA Derby gained his importance after the collapse of the Soviet Union. During the SSSR era, Spartak was a rare figure in the Soviet football view, as it was an independent club, a unique format at the time. CSKA was the
the Red Army's team, the fans' lodestone until today. In addition, the fact the match has been moved from Saturday to Friday just one week in advance, after the ticket sales began and without notify Spartak, is an outrageous move by CSKA. Expect hot environment in the stands.
Key Players: Spartak Moscow's leading player is the Armenian Yura Movsisyan, who grown up in United States and played for 3 years in the MLS. At CSKA you should watch for two: Seydou Doumbia, the Ivorian striker who came back after an unremarkable spell in Rome and is supposed to play, and Bibars Natcho, the Circassian-descent Israeli midfielder, who dictates the team’s play.
Spotlight Persona: Spartak´s coach is former Russian football legend, Dmitri Alenichev, who played in Italy for years and won the Champions League with Porto and Mourinho in 2004. Alinchev is counted as a hero for Spartak's fans and he's a Spartak fan himself. As it's his first Moscow derby as a coach, all eyes in the city will be watching him. Good luck Dima!
*(Many thanks to Michael Yokhin for his insightful comments on this part).
Professional (like this guy)
What? ES Sétif – MC Oran (Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1)
When? Saturday, 1800
Where? Stade 8 Mai 1945, Sétif
Why? Last season’s photo finish in Algeria was unbelievable. 4 matchdays left, each one of the teams could have win the title or face relegation. ES Sétif, the reigning CAF Champions League holders, won the title eventually, while MC Oran finished 3rd, 4 points behind. Hopes for another close race are on.
Key Players: The leading name of Sétif is Abdelmalek Ziaya, a homegrown player who left to Saudi Arabia and Tunisia, and returned for his career grand finale. Oran’s Libyan striker Mohamed Za'abya will try to keep on scoring, like he has done in Kuwait and Bahrain.
Economics: The Algerian economy suffers a severe financial crisis. The Algerian football federation decided to join the attempts of improvement by banning the clubs from hiring foreign players, due to the lack of foreign currency in the country.
World Class (like this guy)
What? Alga – Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi (AFC Cup qualifying round)
When? Saturday, 1700
Where? Spartak Stadium, Bishkek
Why? The AFC decided to change the AFC Cup qualifying system. On the first round we have two groups with 3 teams of the lower ranked nations. In group B, Alga, the Kyrgyz representative, will face Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi, champions of Bangladesh, in a match for the only spot in the next round. Both teams won their first matches against Benfica de Macau.
Key Players: In Alga there is Ildar Amirov, a local player who made 31 caps for the national team and won the AFC President's Cup with Dordoi twice. Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi’s captain, Mamunul Islam, is one of the greatest players in the Bangladeshi football, who has 35 international caps and attracted attention from the Indian Super League.
The Suspended Dutchman: Kyrgyzstan and Bangladesh national teams had a World Cup qualifier between them back in June. During the match, Bangladesh manager, Lodewijk de Kruif, has been suspended after abusing the referees. On Wednesday, FIFA decided to extend his suspension so he will not guide the team in their next match against Australia.