CSKA vs Ak Bars. Who will take the first trophy of the season?

Traditionally, the official hockey season in Russia starts with a match for the Opening Cup. This time, the capital's army team and Kazan's Ak Bars won the right to open the season. The first game of the regular season will be held on September 1 on the ice of the capital's CSKA Arena.

Our Expert Predictions & Analysis on CSKA vs Ak Bars


The capital's army team enter the championship as the current holder of the Gagarin Cup, having won the honorary trophy last season for the third time in its history. The army team won the last two Cups under the leadership of Sergei Fedorov, who still remains the head coach of CSKA. It makes no sense to make radical changes to the team, so the army team did not show much activity on the transfer market during the summer off-season. The Swedish goalkeeper Adam Reideborn, defenders Sergeev and Yarosh, as well as forwards Bryukvin, Guskov and Maximov left the club. A conditional newcomer can be considered goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov, who returned to the team after a year's pause.

The capital club came out of vacation rather late, so it cannot boast of an abundance of control matches. At the moment, Sergei Fedorov's wards have played three test matches, winning each of the matches played. With the same score of 3-2, two Dynamo teams from Minsk and Moscow were beaten, another minimal victory with a score of 4-3 was obtained in a duel against the Khabarovsk Amur.

Ak Bars

The Kazan club spent an ambiguous last season, which included both the resignation of the head coach and the return to the coaching bench of the famous Zinetula Bilyaletdinov, who almost immediately brought Kazan another Gagarin Cup. Bars stopped a step away from the main trophy of the season, losing in a seven-match confrontation with the capital's CSKA. In the off-season, Barça noticeably strengthened their already stellar squad, primarily relying on players in the attacking line. So, forwards of St. Petersburg SKA Damir Zhafyarov and Dmitry Yashkin, who scored 62 goals for two last season, joined the Kazan club. Another star newcomer was Evgeny Svechnikov, who played the last few seasons in the NHL.

Unlike the army team, Barça spend quite a busy August, having already managed to play 8 control matches. The results are as follows - Kazan won five victories (Neftyanik 5-0, Traktor 4-3, Lokomotiv 4-2, Barys 5-2, Lada 3-2), with three defeats (from Lada 2-3, from Traktor 1-2 and 3-4).

CSKA vs Ak Bars


Over the past season alone, the rivals had nine face-to-face fights, five of which ended with a total number of goals scored more than five total over (5) 2.04. None of the opponents has a noticeable advantage in the number of victories won, CSKA has won five times. Ak Bars has four wins. The absence of overtime draws attention, for the past 9 games in a row the teams determine the winner in regular time (there is no overtime 1.27).

Odds from download 1xbet

The bookmaker does not see a clear favorite in this confrontation, leaving both teams with approximately equal chances of winning in regular time: CSKA win - 2.55, Ak Bars win - 2.7. The probability of a draw and the subsequent overtime is estimated by 1xbet specialists with a coefficient of 4.1. As for the expected performance, here the quotes are as follows: total over (4.5) - 1.87, total under (4.5) - 1.94. Install the 1xbet app and place a bet on the favorite!

Game Totals Prediction

Judging by the rather late return from vacation, the army team, like last year, plans to get in shape already during the championship. And here we see a certain advantage of Ak Bars, which has been holding test fights throughout August. In addition, the capital team does not fully understand the situation with the appearance on the ice of the main goalkeeper Ivan Fedotov, which in the game against the powerful attacking line of the Bars can be a key factor. Our prediction is the victory of Ak Bars, taking into account overtime and a shootout with a coefficient of 1.98.

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