Was meaning to do a thread about the Russian Premier League for a while now, but never got round to it! Anyhow, today's game between Lokomotiv Moscow and FK Krasnodar is the final game of Matchday 14 out of 30 in the league Here is how the standings are at present 1) Zenit - Played 14, Points 29 2) Lokomotiv Moscow - Played 13, Points 26 3) CSKA Moscow - Played 14, Points 25 4) Ural Yekaterinburg - Played 14, Points 22 5) FK Krasnodar - Played 13, Points 21 6) Spartak Moscow - Played 14, Points 21 Spartak have recovered from a bad start to their title defence and whilst being 8 points behind Zenit, they are 10 games unbeaten in all competitions and Zenit have had a bit of a wobble in recent weeks, losing at home to Arsenal Tula last weekend and only drawing away at CSKA Moscow this weekend. Furthermore, next weekend, Zenit host Lokomotiv in what could be a pivotal title deciding game come May, so Spartak could make further ground on Zenit should both them and Lokomotiv cancel each other out next weekend. The surprise of the season so far is Ural Yekaterinburg in 4th place, like Rostov in the last few seasons, they are a modest club who have spent considerably little, yet are a well-run club and possess the only unbeaten home record in the league so far. The top 3 sides go into next season's Champions League from the Russian Premier League, so what an opportunity for Ural atm, especially given the slow start by Spartak and the fact that Krasnodar and CSKA have looked unconvincing all season. Some of the star performers in the league this season include Eric Bicfalvi (Romanian attacking midfielder playing for Ural and the second top scorer of the league so far), Quincy Promes and Georgy Dzhikiya (Two shining lights in a so far mixed season for Spartak so far, especially Promes, who imo will leave for one of Europe's top 4 leagues in the summer, he has been linked with the likes of Atletico, Bayern and Liverpool in past seasons), Aleksandr Kokorin (A man reborn at Zenit this season under the guidance of Roberto Mancini, top scorer in the league with 6 goals and is putting in good consistent performances for the first time in a long time to start to fulfill his early potential), Leandro Paredes (i think the most expensive signing in the Russian Premier League this summer, bought by Zenit at around EUR 25 million from Roma, yet having played 50 odd games over the last 2 years in a higher league like Serie A, you can tell Paredes oozes class, best central midfielder in the league so far this season. Aleksandr Golovin (one of the few shining lights for CSKA so far this season, do not be surprised to see him leave in the winter transfer window for Western Europe as CSKA's finances are in a reportedly poor state) and Manuel Fernandes (Lokomotiv's best player so far this season and a key component in their surprising title challenge, i can see why now the likes of Benfica and Valencia had him at their clubs in the past now with his displays this season, if Portugal did not have such a huge depth of talent at their disposal atm, i am convinced he could win a recall to the Portuguese National Team, that is how well he has been playing).