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New faces in for Zenit after title win

22 May 2015, 12:33

Moscow - Andre Villas-Boas, manager of Russia's newly-crowned champions Zenit St Petersburg, is intent on refreshing his line-up for Saturday's Premiership match at Amkar Perm to give some rest to the team's top leaders.

"We still have two very serious games to play," the former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham manager said.

"We will make a rotation to give a chance to every player to take part in our winning season even if they have not been playing as much.

"They are incredibly important and for example (Vyacheslav) Malafeev has been very supportive, (Milan) Rodic has not played as much although he has deserved it, (Anatoly) Tymoshchuk has always been trying to break in.

"And I would like to show my respect to those who have not played a lot."

Also read: AVB cheered by Spurs fans

Meanwhile, Amkar are unbeaten in their last five league matches but are still battling hard to avoid relegation. They need the points against Zenit.

"We have to face new champions Zenit and Spartak Moscow in our two remaining matches," Amkar head coach Gadzhi Gadzhiev said.

"No doubt that both matches will be extremely difficult but we have no other choice other than to get points in both of them to stay in the Premier League."

Last season's champions CSKA Moscow are in pole position in the race for the second place to secure a spot in the Champions League third qualifying round next season as they leapfrogged FC Krasnodar last week.

But the Red Army side are facing a tough test to their ambitions on Monday when they take on two-time former champions Rubin Kazan.

"Our goal for the remainder of the season is very clear," CSKA head coach Leonid Slutsky said.

"We need to win both of our remaining matches and we will do everything possible to achieve that goal."

FC Krasnodar, who have assured themselves a top three finish this season, on Sunday face visitors Rostov, who also desperately need points to stay above the relegation zone.

"We're happy to be on the podium of our national championship for the first time in our history," FC Krasnodar manager Oleg Kononov said.

"But the championship is not over yet and we still have a chance to finish second and win a place in the Champions League next season. We will try to capitalize on that opportunity."

Fixtures (all times GMT)


Amkar Perm v Zenit St Petersburg (1000), Torpedo Moscow v Ural Yekaterinburg (1230), Spartak Moscow v Ufa (1500)


FC Krasnodar v Rostov (1030), Mordovia Saransk v Terek Grozny (1300), Dynamo Moscow v Arsenal Tula (1530)


Lokomotiv Moscow v Kuban Krasnodar (1530), CSKA Moscow v Rubin Kazan (1745)

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