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RUSSIAN PREMIER LEAGUE

2017/2018 Season

POS TEAM W D L PTS
1 Zenit 5 1 0 16
2 Loko Moscow 5 1 1 16
3 Rostov 4 1 1 13
View Full Table »

Violent clashes between fans, police mar start of season in Russia

Mark Ogden discusses the uncertainties surrounding stadiums such as Fisht Stadium in Sochi ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

A series of fan incidents, including clashes with police, have tarnished the start of the season in the Russian Premier League.

After the well-organised FIFA Confederations Cup went on without much trouble earlier this summer, the league season has seen fights between fans inside and outside football grounds, racial abuse and violent police action since the day it kicked off on July 15.

Even players have been the target over the past month. First, injured Spartak Moscow midfielder Roman Zobnin was...

 By PA Sport

Javi Garcia completes switch to Real Betis from Zenit St Petersburg

Javi Garcia spent two seasons at Manchester City.

Javi Garcia has joined Real Betis from Zenit St Petersburg, with the former Real Madrid and Manchester City midfielder signing a three-year contract.

Garcia, 30, spent two seasons with City before departing for Russia in August 2014.

A statement on the official Betis website on Monday confirmed the deal.

Garcia said: "I am very excited. Betis were my first choice because the club is making a great effort to put a competitive team together."

 By Chris Wright

Russian farmer builds stadium out of straw to mock $720m World Cup venue

A farmer in Krasnoye, Russia built a football stadium entirely out of straw
Russian farmer Roman Ponomaryov built a stadium made completely from straw.

A Russian farmer has built an entire football stadium out of straw to mock the spiralling cost of the new 64,000-seat arena in St Petersburg that will be used to host the 2018 World Cup.

The straw version, built by farmer Roman Ponomaryov in a field outside the town of Stavropol cost around $675 (£500) to complete, whereas the Zenit Arena quickly burned through a budget of $720 million (£552m).

However, what Ponomaryov's version lacks in clean, sweeping lines and modernist architecture,...

St. Petersburg might be ready for World Cup, but the pitch is not

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia -- Ahead of the Confederations Cup final on Sunday, the pitch remains the most troublesome issue of St. Petersburg Arena, and it is likely to pose a significant problem heading into the World Cup preparations.

Cristiano Ronaldo famously complained about the surface following the game against New Zealand at the group stage. The Portuguese captain claimed: "It was a difficult pitch, where the grass was somewhat too long, and it was impossible to play better than we did."

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Roma's Leandro Paredes completes €23m Zenit St Petersburg move

Leandro Paredes had also been linked with Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes has joined Zenit St Petersburg on a four-year contract, the Russian club have announced.

Paredes, who began his career at Boca Juniors, had also been linked with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Serie A winners Juventus.

The Argentina international started 15 games for Roma last season, scoring three times, and Roma's official website said Zenit would pay an initial €23 million, which could rise by another €4m through clauses.

Paredes played for...