The Russian Premier League has improved in quality massively in the last 10 years or so, as Russia’s economic success has filtered through to football. The top sides in the Russian Premier League can now attract quality players from around the world by offering wages few leagues can compete with. The depth of talent in Russian football, albeit much in the shape of Brazilian imports, is quite staggering and the battle to win the domestic league is really hotting up.

As with many major European football leagues, a small number of clubs tend to dominate and in recent years that has been Zenit St Petersburg and CSKA Moscow. That pair, from rival cities, have won nine of the last 12 titles, with a further seven second place finishes between them too. They are the top two in the current outright winner betting so read on as we take a closer look at the Premier League, as well as offering our betting tips and predictions for who will ultimately prevail.

Before we do that, however, note that whether you want to bet on this, or other outright winner markets, or indeed on individual Russian Premier League games or matches from other leagues, our live odds comparison is an indispensable addition to your betting weaponry. By quickly and easily showing you the best odds for whatever you want to bet on you can get the best value and make the biggest profits with hardly any time or effort wasted.

Returning to the battle for outright glory in domestic Russian football, the bookies are clearly predicting just one winner this season, with favourites CSKA priced at best betting odds of just 1/3 with BetVictor. CSKA are currently top of the pile in Russia, having taken 37 points from their opening 17 games. Managed by Leonid Slutsky, CSKA are Champions League and Europa League regulars and have bags of experience both domestically and in Europe.

They have few real weaknesses and given they have a six point lead at the top of the table (although second placed Rostov have a game in hand) it’s easy to see why their odds are so short. Things haven’t gone as well in Europe, where they look set to miss out on post-Christmas involvement barring a win at PSV in the final game. That may help them though, as fewer fixtures will allow them to really prepare for their Premier League games and they have to be considered big favourites.

Aforementioned Rostov, who could close to within one win of CSKA, are priced as fourth favourites in the outright winner market. At a distant 16/1 with 10Bet they hold little appeal though as, despite a strong start, their squad just isn’t in the same class as the big boys of Russian football.

One point further back and also having played 16 games, come CSKA’s city rivals, Lokomotiv. They are priced at 12/1 with 10Bet and despite having won the Russian Premier League as recently as 2004, again, it has to be said that on paper they don’t match up to either Zenit or CSKA.

The second favourites, and a side we predict will have a great second half to the season, are Zenit. The only side in the Champions League with a 100% record, the St Petersburg side are some eight points adrift of CSKA so may seem a strange betting tip. However, when it comes to the outright market, CSKA are just too short to really back and the value lies with Zenit at best betting odds of 9/2 with Bet365. Manager Andre Villas-Boas is slowly getting his ideas across and we think they will be buoyed massively by their success in Europe. They have class in the form of Hulk, Danny and Axel Witsel and we fancy they are worth a bet at long odds.


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