Total below 2.5
Sochi, after 17 rounds of the autumn part of the championship, shares the 7th place in the table with Krasnodar and Orenburg, giving them additional indicators. A lot has changed at the winter training camp. Kurban Berdyev was appointed as the head coach. Under his leadership, the “leopards” conducted a long preparatory campaign, which included 10 friendly matches.
The final control matches with Khimki (2:0) and Baltica (1:0) turned out to be the most significant. The influence of Berdiev was already noticeable in them. Sochi clearly improved the compactness and organization on the pitch.
CSKA is in a more favorable strategic position, the team played 2 official matches against Krasnodar (3:0, 0:1) in the quarter-finals of the Russian Cup.
Having achieved a comfortable advantage in the first meeting, the “soldiers” were unable to use it and played more calmly in the second. They were often rarely opened and had a large number of marriages while playing forward. The inert second match played by CSKA is more a consequence of psychological problems and a loss of concentration.
The club spent the first segment of the season at its best, finishing 5th in the table and being one of the best in terms of play. According to the predicted goals scored (xg = 1.95) and goals conceded (xga = 0.93), he was ranked 3rd and 2nd in the RPL.
CSKA will have the upper hand, but whether they can break Berdiev’s well-organized squad is a big question. If in the opener Krasnodar failed to show greater focus on goal, it will be much more difficult in Sochi. I expect a closed match.