MOSCOW, September 9 (R-Sport) – CSKA Moscow will start its defense of the Russian Cup against little-known, second-tier team Khimik Dzerzhinsk, as top-tier teams entered the draw in the round of 32 on Monday.
Khimik should pose few challenges to CSKA, whose Cup win in May gave the team its second league-and-cup double.
The draw poses problems for Rubin Kazan, the 2012 winners, which now faces a mammoth trip over 10 time zones in the space of eight days at the end of next month, taking on Wigan Athletic in the Europa League, then a Russian league game against Lokomotiv Moscow, followed by a trek to the Russian Far East to play Luch-Energia Vladivostok.
Some of Russia's big teams succeeded in avoiding troublesome opponents, especially Zenit St. Petersburg, which travels to third-tier FC Tyumen, while FC Kuban gets similarly obscure Zvezda Ryazan, founded only three years ago.
Spartak Moscow landed a potential banana skin in former top-flight outfit Shinnik Yaroslavl, while Lokomotiv must contend with Rotor Volgograd, once a Champions League-level team but now reduced to battling in the mid-table of the second tier.
Anzhi Makhachkala, which is trying to rebuild after a fire sale of their star players in the summer, gets little respite. The team faces a Caucasus derby against former Russian champion Alania Vladikavkaz, which was relegated from the Premier League last season and is leading candidates for promotion from the second-tier Football National League.
Top-flight teams are kept apart in the round of 32 in the Russian Cup and must play away from home.
All games will be played either October 30 or 31, with precise dates and times to be announced later.
Khimik Dzherzhinsk - CSKA Moscow
Luch-Energia Vladivostok - Rubin Kazan
FC Tyumen - Zenit St. Petersburg
Zvezda Ryazan - FC Kuban
Shinnik Yaroslavl - Spartak Moscow
Rotor Volgograd - Lokomotiv Moscow
Alania Vladikavkaz - Anzhi Makhachkala
FC Tosno - Ural Yekaterinburg
FC Dolgoprudny - FC Krasnodar
Sokol Saratov - Krylya Sovetov Samara
Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk - Terek Grozny
Mordovia Saransk - Amkar Perm
Angusht Nazran - FC Rostov
Gazovik Orenburg - FC Tomsk
Salyut Belgorod - Dynamo Moscow
SKA-Energia Khabarovsk - FC Volga
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