RFN Top 50 2018: 20-11

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As 2018 has turned into 2019, it is time for an annual tradition on GClub Casino: The RFN Top 50. We rank the 50 best players in the Russian Premier Liga (RPL) in 2018 by their performances throughout the year, think of it as the RFN Ballon d’Or, next up are the players ranked 20-11. 

This is the fourth year in our annual tradition, and definitely, the hardest yet, let us know who you would have picked, and we hope you enjoy it.

READ MORE: RFN TOP 50 2017

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20. Luiz Adriano (Forward, Spartak Moscow) +1

In a tough season for Spartak so far, Luiz Adriano still remains one of the club’s best performing players and one of the lead RPL strikers. The veteran Brazilian has so far in 14 RPL games for Spartak scored four goals and recorded three assists in a side which has struggled for consistency. A potential attacking combination between Luiz Adriano, second-top scorer in the league Ze Luis and attacking midfielder Sofiane Hanni at Spartak could be something to watch in 2019.

Luiz Adriano vies for the ball with Paita Rogel | Epsilon/Getty Images

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19. Georgi Dzhikiya (Defender, Spartak Moscow) +1

After an unfortunate injury in the winter break of the 2017/18 which saw him miss the first part of 2018 and last summer’s จีคลับคาสิโน สมัครคาสิโ, since his return to action, star Spartak defender Georgi Dzhikiya has maintained the fine form which has made him one of the RPL’s best defenders. Composed both in possession and when defending attacks, Dzhikiya’s injuries have not had a deteriorating effect on his performances based on the evidence so far.

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18. Mauricio Pereyra (Midfielder, FC Krasnodar) +15

One of the best technicians in the RPL, Mauricio Pereyra makes Krasnodar’s midfield tick and is the key to linking the midfield and attack of the team together, but is also a genuine box-to-box presence. Since joining Krasnodar from Argentine side Lanus in 2013, the 29-year-old Uruguayan has improved season after season. If Krasnodar are to win their first ever RPL title in 2019, Pereyra will be a major contributing factor.

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17. Sebastian Driussi (Forward, Zenit St Petersburg) +17

Upon conclusion of the 2018/19 season, if an award for the most improved player for the season existed, Sebastian Driussi would be a worthy recipient of such an award. Not only is Driussi ahead of where he was so far last season on both goals and assists, crucially, but his overall performances in games have also considerably improved. Expect further improvement in 2019 from the young Argentine who is now settled in Russian football and acts as a good foil to fellow striker Artem Dzyuba.

Sebastian Driussi celebrating a goal against Rubin Kazan last season | Вячеслав Евдокимов/fc-zenit.ru

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16. Daler Kuzyaev (Midfielder, Zenit St Petersburg) +10

After a breakthrough season with Zenit where he emerged as one of the shining lights in a difficult season for the Piter outfit, Daler Kuzyaev has continued to see his stock rise in 2018/19. Kuzyaev brings energy to Zenit’s midfield in a box-to-box midfield role and is a key reason for Zenit currently sitting at the top of the RPL standings.

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15. Solomon Kverkvelia (Defender, Lokomotiv Moscow) +3

Since swapping Rubin Kazan for Lokomotiv Moscow, first initially on loan and then on a permanent transfer in the summer of 2017, Solomon “Saba” Kverkvelia has emerged as one of the best defenders in the RPL. In the second half of the 2017/18 title triumph, Kverkvelia displayed his typical excellent calmness and composure to help Lokomotiv to their shock Championship win.

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14. Aleksandr Erokhin (Midfielder, Zenit St Petersburg) +31

After initially struggling in the early months of the year, one game acted as a catalyst for a fine 2018 for Aleksandr Erokhin. The attacking midfielder scored four goals in the final game of the 2017/18 season in a 6-0 victory for Zenit against already relegated SKA Khabarovsk. The 29-year-old Erokhin then took that form into the summer’s จีคลับคาสิโน สมัครคาสิโ where he was a handy and impressive substitute for Sbornaya during their run to the Quarter Finals. In the first half of 2018/19, Erokhin has further confirmed his standing as one of the RPL’s best midfielders with five goals and three assists in 14 games, covering a variety of positions from out wide to all up the middle of the park.

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13. Fedor Smolov (Forward, Lokomotiv Moscow) -11

2018 has seen a substantial fall in rating from second to 13th for striker Fedor Smolov. The 29-year-old started 2018 as the Sbornaya’s star man and the best striker in the RPL. However, the จีคลับคาสิโน สมัครคาสิโ was a disappointment for Smolov who lost his place in Sbornaya’s starting eleven and stardom amongst Russian football fans to fellow striker Artem Dzyuba. Smolov despite his difficulties, however, is still a fine RPL player and scored eight goals over the calendar year of 2018 for both Krasnodar and Lokomotiv. There is still potential for Smolov to re-emerge as the lead striker in the RPL and 2019 is a massive year for the striker.

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12. Yuri Gazinsky (Midfielder, FC Krasnodar) NEW ENTRY

One of the most underrated players in the RPL, 29-year-old Yuri Gazinskiy has improved year upon year at Krasnodar since joining the club in 2013 from second-tier Torpedo Moscow. In both the second half of the 2017/18 season and the first-half of the 2018/19 season, Gazinskiy has been a model of consistency for the Bulls. His partnership with Charles Kabore has become arguably the best deep-lying central midfield partnership in the RPL. To top off a fine 2018, Gazinskiy impressed for Sbornaya at the จีคลับคาสิโน สมัครคาสิโ and etched himself into the history books after scoring the opening goal of the tournament in Russia’s 5-0 victory over Saudi Arabia.

Yuri Gazinsky opening the scoring at the 2018 จีคลับคาสิโน สมัครคาสิโ, burying a header against Saudi Arabia | FIFA

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11. Jefferson Farfan (Forward, Lokomotiv Moscow) -1

Despite now being 34 years of age, veteran Peruvian winger Jefferson Farfan remains one of the best players in the RPL. A key factor in Lokomotiv’s 2017/18 title triumph, Farfan has once again proven his worth in a testing 2018/19 for the defending champions. Three goals in his last two games of the season prior to the winter break are a strong indicator that Farfan could help Lokomotiv enjoy a more productive second half of the season.

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Author: Richard Pike

Wigan Athletic season ticket holder whose first memories of Russian football were TV highlights of Spartak’s 4-1 victory against Arsenal in the 2000-01 Champions League. Huge fan of the Russian Premier League, other mid-ranking European leagues and the English Football League

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