Nizny Novgorod vs Sochi: point to the favourite?
Nizhny Novgorod played against Sochi twice and did not lose. Will the hosts be able to hold out on July 26? We made a prediction for this game which you can find below. What result to expect?
Nizhny Novgorod had a very solid season in FNL. Under the leadership of Anton Khazov, the team gave a consistent performance and managed to get promoted to the Premier League. However, they didn't go straight through: Nizhny finished third, but their direct competitor Orenburg were disqualified by the Russian Football Union due to the stadium not passing capacity requirements. So Nizhny Novgorod got promoted in their place.
In the offseason, Alexander Kerzhakov became the new manager of the club. It is his first experience of managing a team at this level. To strengthen their lineup for the Premier League, Nizhny Novgorod made several transfers: Artur Nigmatullin is the new goalkeeper, experienced Alexey Kozlov will add reliability to the defense line, Pavel Mogilevets will become the main player in the midfield. All of these players came as free agents.
Sochi were a pleasant surprise last season. Vladimir Fedotov's team started off strongly, getting points in the first rounds, and found themselves in the European club competition zone, which the competitors clearly did not expect. Despite several streaks of unsuccessful games, the Leopards achieved what they wanted: they finished fifth, leaving behind such formidable opponents as CSKA and Dynamo.
Sochi prepared for the start of the Conference league qualification intensively: the team participated in the Parimatch Premier Cup, where the Leopards defeated Rubin (3:1) and Khimki (3:2), but were crushed 0:4 by Spartak. Despite that devastating defeat, Sochi proved to be in good shape. Their debut in European competitions was successful - at home, Sochi beat Azerbaijani Kesla with a score of 3:0, and now they must defend this result in Baku on Thursday.
Two of the last six away games of Sochi ended with this score.
This bet played in the last two head-to-head games.
Nizhny Novgorod conceded only two goals in their last five official home games.
Nizhny Novgorod have changed the lineup quite a bit, strengthened several positions with experienced players, and probably still will buy some players before the end of the transfer window. But Kerzhakov can count on points will the players he already has: Sochi will certainly use rotation, given three games in a week. Nizhny know how to defend and can definitely get a draw.
We believe that the visitors will not win. Our prediction - Nizhny Novgorod to not lose.
Prediction: Nizhny Novgorod to not lose
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Nizhny Novgorod conceded very few goals at home in the FNL - only 12 in 21 home games. Obviously, the team's defense will try to stop Sochi's attack. Sochi have three games in one week, they are not as fresh as the opponent, which makes the probability of a draw very high.
Our second bet - a draw.