Sintez Kazan’s head coach Andrei Belofastov steps in to brief us on the upcoming season of Russia’s Super League.
Mr. Belofastov, can you give us a short overview of the Championship format in Russia?
Russia features two leagues within their national championship: The highest ranking “Super League” and the “Major League”.
The Super League features 8 clubs, which play a round-robin tournament with a home and away match system. After the resulting 14 legs, the top ranking team advances directly into the semi-finals, while the last team is eliminated from the playoff stage. The remaining positions form 3 quarterfinal pairs: 2nd vs 7th, 3rd the 6th, and 4th vs 5th.
The winners proceed to the semifinal playoffs, where two wins are required to proceed to the finals. The prequalified top ranking team gets to face the winner of the 3rd pairing.
The champion needs to acquire three wins during the final playoffs. The initially better-positioned team gets to host the first two games and, if necessary, the all-deciding game 5.
Super League 2017/2018 Participants
|WPC Dynamo Moscow
|WPC Shturm Ruza
|St. Petersburg Youth
|Sintez UOR Kazan
The Major league features 6 clubs, who play a regular round-robin tournament format.The club with the most points at the end of the season takes the championship title.
A peculiarity of the Russian championship is the fact, that only 2 foreign athletes are allowed per game.
Who are the favorites for this year’s championship title in the Russian Super League?
The favorites would be Spartak Volgograd, us (Sintez Kazan), and Dinamo Moskva.
Sintez Kazan has two important upcoming matches against AN Brescia in the 3rd round of the Champions League qualifications. What are your expectations against them?
Brescia is a very experienced team, with 4-5 foreign athletes and their seasoned world-class coach Sandro Bovo. The first game will be very important for us. We face them every year and the games are always very exciting – this season will be no exception to that.