Friday, November 19, 2010
A trip to Novosibirsk awaits Eugene Starikov and FC Tom Tomsk who will attempt to seal their place in the 2011 Russian Premier League with a result at Spartak Stadium against FC Sibir.
Starikov will be making yet another start up front at striker for head coach Valeri Nepomnyaschiy.
The Russian-American played a huge part in Tomsk's 1-1 draw last weekend versus Analia when he drew a foul in the box that led to their penalty kick.
All Tomsk need heading into Saturday's match is a draw to ensure they will be playing in the 2011 RPL.
Should the Siberians fail to achieve the required result against the league's last placed team, a draw or loss by 15th placed Alania against Terek Grozny will also book Starikov and company's spot in Russia's highest level next season.
Nepomnyaschiy continues to tinker a bit with his lineup after leaving starting goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko on the bench against Alania and going with reserve Alexi Polyakov.
Pareiko is currently rumored to join Scottish giants Celtic FC in the winter transfer period which would directly hinder American Dominic Cervi's chances of ever breaking into a starting lineup for the Glasgow club.
Sibir's first season in the RPL featured a series of highs and lows. On the domestic front, they have been quite poor winning just four games and yielding a total of 56 goals.
However due to their success in last season's Russian Cup when they were a finalist while playing in Russia's second level, Sibir actually played in this year's Europa League and advanced to the playoff round after defeating Apollon in the third qualifying round.
They then pulled off a massive upset by defeating Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven 1-0 at their home stadium before losing the return leg in Holland 0-5.
Neither team is reporting any major injuries.