This season, the Russian Premier League has a bit of an odd format, if you didn't know. Because they're changing their calendar to line up with the regular Fall-Spring European football calendar, they're playing an 18 month season in two different stages. The top half of the teams in December will be split into a group that fights for the title in the spring, while the bottom half are split into a group fighting for relegation. Currently, CSKA Moscow and Zenit St. Petersburg are the first and second placed teams in Russia.
So, this game doesn't really mean that much for the title race. Both teams are pretty firmly locked into the top half group and will be fighting for the championship this spring. This game is really just about intimidation, momentum and bragging rights, but that will be enough to make it an entertaining affair.
Make no mistake about it: Despite the fact that the title race doesn't start until Spring, this will be a competitive fixture. Both Zenit and CSKA will play full strength squads going all-out for the win, and it'll be a very entertaining match even if it will ultimately mean very little at the end of the year.
Both managers - Leonid Slutsky and Luciano Spalletti - are tactically astute coaches with deep squads and a willingness to use multiple formations. Predicting what either is going to do is probably a futile exercise, but both seem to have preferred a 4-2-3-1 formation as of late. CSKA used Keisuke Honda as the man in the hole behind Vagner Love, while Zenit used Danny in that role behind Aleksandr Kerzhakov.
The match kicks off at 10:45 am ET on Saturday, and it should be a cracker. We'll have coverage of the game right here on SB Nation.