Zenit wary of Krasnodar`s counter-attack

Andre-Villas Boas has warned league leaders Zenit St Petersburg to be wary of FC Krasnodar`s rapid counter-attacks ahead of their clash on Saturday.

Zenit wary of Krasnodar`s counter-attack

Moscow: Andre-Villas Boas has warned league leaders Zenit St Petersburg to be wary of FC Krasnodar`s rapid counter-attacks ahead of their clash on Saturday.

Zenit go into this weekend`s matches with a four point lead over CSKA Moscow after an early season run of eight straight wins and the goalless draw with Spartak Moscow in their last outing before the international break.

But former Chelsea and Tottenham coach Villas-Boas is not taking sixth-placed Krasnodar lightly.

"It`s very important for us to win the first match back after the international break in order to stay focused on our main goal: winning the Russian title this season," Villas-Boas said.

"But this is not going to be an easy match and we can`t make any mistakes because they can punish you on the counter-attack and score."

Despite Zenit`s flying start to the campaign, former midfielder Sergei Petrov, now with Krasnodar, believes not only that his side can upset their visitors on Saturday, but that winning the league title itself is not beyond them.

"I expect a very interesting match on Saturday as both clubs need points," he said.

"Zenit are leading the league but it`s too early to crown them. The season is long and everything is still possible."

Reigning champions CSKA will hope to extend their four-match winning streak in a clash with another Krasnodar outfit Kuban.

But the Red Army side`s coach Leonid Slutsky expressed his concern about his striking options as Ivory Coast striker Seydou Doumbia is still recovering after a string of injuries.

"He (Doumbia) is in fact our team`s only true forward and our playing style seriously depends on his fitness," Slutsky said.

"We desperately need him in top form for the upcoming matches."

Kuban are fourth, just two points behind CSKA, and would leapfrog the champions with a win.

Head coach Viktor Goncharenko said he was expecting a tight match on Saturday.

"CSKA are an experienced and well-organised team with a set of skilled footballers both in attack and defence," he said.

"And they can vary their tactics easily depending on the situation on the pitch. I expect an intense and tight match against them."

Third-placed Dynamo Moscow face coach Stanislav Cherchesov`s former side, Amkar Perm.

"I worked in Perm for almost a year and it was an unforgettable experience," Cherchesov said.

"But on the pitch we are just rivals and I`m looking forward to this match as it should be a clash of two uncompromising opponents."
Fixtures (all times GMT)

Saturday

Amkar Perm v Dynamo Moscow (0800), CSKA Moscow v Kuban Krasnodar (1030), FC Krasnodar v Zenit St Petersburg (1300), Lokomotiv Moscow v Terek Grozny (1530)
Sunday

Ural Yekaterinburg v Spartak Moscow (0930), Arsenal Tula v Rostov (1230)
Monday

Ufa v Torpedo Moscow (1300), Rubin Kazan v Mordovia Saransk (1530)

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