As requested by Little Geeber, I've put together a list of the 5 most attractive clubs to take part in the RPL this year, complete with pros, cons and EPL equivalents. However, for more comprehensive RPL content, you can visit my blog here.
5. Anzhi Makhachkala
EPL Equivalent - Manchester City
The new kid on the block, with all too much money to flaunt. Anzhi have made some quality signings in Samuel Eto'o, Willian and Yuri Zhirkov and are managed by none other than Guus Hiddink (who has to manage City at some point, right?). They have a deep forward line, but their defensive midfield lets them down an unbelievable amount. To add to their woes, they are situated in the most dangerous region in Russia, so the players train and live in Moscow and fly to the stadium for matches.
- League title within next two seasons
- Champions League football next season (probably)
- Constant improvement of team
- Shiny new stadium coming soon
- Can never go to games if you value your safety
- Being lumped in as one of "those glory hunting fans"
EPL Equivalent - Swansea
The overachieving club that nobody can hate. Krasnodar have been surprisingly spectacular this season, with Yura Movsisyan becoming the surprise success story of the season in somewhat the same manner that Michu has for Swansea (although Movsisyan has already earned his move away). Located near the Black Sea in one of the warmest areas of Russia, the club has found itself a good position compared to the wastelands that are Moscow and St. Petersburg.
- Lovable team
- Nice region
- Decent football
- First good season in the top flight
- Somewhat inconsistent
- Ugly kits
3. Zenit St. Petersburg
EPL Equivalent - Chelsea
The original petrodollar club in the league that is liked even less than Anzhi. Makes hyper expensive signings like Hulk and Axel Witsel (I mean, what the hell?) and plays unfortunately ugly football. Some decent players like Hulk and Danny, but the team doesn't seem to get along well at all and there are positions on the pitch where they are outright poor. Also, there has been recent controversy due to racist statements from portions of the ultras groups.
- Good title chances
- Champions League
- Decent players
- Nice kits
- Petrodollar club
- Racist elements in fan groups
- St. Petersburg is even colder than Moscow
2. CSKA Moscow
EPL Equivalent - Arsenal
A team that has built a good side by purchasing young talent and bringing players through their academy. CSKA have been somewhat more successful than their EPL counterpart in recent years, but the ethos is the same. Focus on young, cheap players and teach them to play possession football. Very proud of certain academy products.
- Nice youth plan
- Possession football (if you're into that)
- Igor Akinfeev and Alan Dzagoev
- Ugly kits
- Fans gloating about recent successes
1. Spartak Moscow
EPL Equivalent - Tottenham
The team that plays attractive attacking football. Spartak/Tottenham is the little brother (arguably) of CSKA/Arsenal, but they have a much richer history than their rivals with a tradition of talented players and attractive football. The first great crop of youth players in years is coming into the first team fold now and the future looks bright for Spartak.
- Beautiful football
- Talented youth
- Pushing for Champions League each season
- Great history
- Red kits (ugh!)