Inaugurated in 1992, the Russian Cup is Russia’s main domestic football cup competition. It's second in importance in the country only behind the Premier League and is run by the Russian Football Union.
As with other major nations around the world, the Cup is dominated by the stronger top tier teams in Russia. However, it is competed for by clubs from at least three different levels including a handful of amateur teams.
As the quality here is high, especially in the latter stages of the competition, games in the Russian Cup provide reliable wagering opportunities.
Before placing a bet, read our guide to Russian Cup Betting. Increase your knowledge of the teams and how this tournament works.
How the Russian Cup Works
Much like the FA Cup in England, the Russian Cup is a knockout competition and is a season-long affair. The Cup is contested by those from the Premier League, First Division and Second Division along with some amateur clubs.
Round 1 gets underway with just 10 of the lowest-ranked teams competing in July in one-off games. The same month, those winners are joined by new teams as 46 now compete in Round 2.
Round 3 gets underway at the end of July. New teams join 23 winners from the previous round to make 30 this time. The 15 winners are then joined by more new entrants to create 32 who compete in more randomly drawn matches in August during Round 4.
The last 32 is played in September and this is when the Premier League teams join the previous round’s winners in September. Matches are played in September with the winners heading to the last 16 in October/November which is the last time the Cup is played in this one-off game format.
The quarter-final stage here is what essentially splits up the Russian season. Games are now played over two legs, the first being in November and December and the second not played until February and March.
The semi-finals are again played over two legs in April and eventually the final is played on neutral ground as a one-off match in May. The winners then receive the cup but also qualify for the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.
Russia’s Biggest Names
Much like in the Russian Premier League, the biggest and most recognisable teams in the Cup are:
- CSKA Moscow,
- Zenit St Petersburg,
- Lokomotiv Moscow,
- Arsenal Tula and
- Dinamo Moscow.
Up to 2019, Russia’s most successful Cup team was Lokomotiv Moscow who has won 8 titles, followed by CSKA on 7. Both Spartak Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg have won the tournament on three occasions each.
Key Betting Markets in Russian Premier Cup Matches
While the Premier League teams here join in the last 32, it would be prudent from a betting point of view to concentrate on matches in the Cup only from the last 16 onwards.
Across the 21 individual games from this point on including the final on neutral ground, around 2.4 goals per game are scored in the Cup which is in line with the average in the Russian Premier League. Taking the final out of it, 50% of games are won by the home side, 25% are drawn and 25% are won by the away team.
Less than half of all games featured goals for both sides, basically eliminating any confidence in the BTTS market so with those facts in mind this is how you should play it:
- Match Betting (home wins) – the rate of home wins in this competition is, for whatever reason, higher than the average and higher than it is in the Russian Premier League. This makes solid home favourites reliable for us, especially to place in accumulators, so ignoring the outsiders playing on their home patch can make this a simple bet.
- Total Goals – the goal tally is as low here as it is in the domestic league. With that in mind, and remember that the average is boosted by those few exceptional teams, betting on under 1.5 can often pay off. To make this bet a little more certain, ignore not only those top teams but also any featuring a short-priced favourite and concentrate on those tight looking match-ups.
Place Your Bets on the Russian Premier Cup Now!
Russia’s chief domestic cup competition provides high quality and reliable betting opportunities. You can get on now via any of Roger.com’s recommended online bookmakers.