The Russian capital will play host to the eagerly awaited derby between CSKA and Spartak on Sunday. The Luzhniki stadium is likely to be full to its 80,000 capacity, as is regularly the case when the two city rivals slug it out. looks back at past derbies and analyses current form.

How it all began
The origins of this fierce duel go back almost a century. CSKA Moscow was formed on 13 June 1901, with its initials standing for Central Sport Club of the Army. The team has won the league on ten occasions, both during and since the Soviet period, with the most recent success coming in 2006.

Spartak Moscow, on the other hand, are Russia's most popular club, according to a recent survey, befitting their nickname of 'The People's Team'. They have won no fewer than 21 league titles since they were founded in 1922 as an alternative to CSKA with fewer links to the government. Their last championship win dates back to 2001.

The derby has no geographic, social or religious connotations nowadays - it is all about the history of the two arch-rivals and the simple fact that the vast majority of people in Moscow are either CSKA or Spartak fans.

Facts and figures
The statistics come down heavily in favour of CSKA on Saturday. The teams have met 125 times in Russia's top division, and the home team usually has the better of it, particularly in recent times.

In their last 12 league encounters, CSKA have won six times and there have been five draws, with Spartak managing to take all three points home on only once. That win, however, came as recently as last November, when a Nikita Bazhenov goal fired them to a 1-0 win in front of a crowd of some 60,000, inadvertently opening the door for Rubin Kazan to win the title.

Current form

Things could hardly be tighter at the top of the Russian Premier League this season, and Saturday's game could well decide how the title race pans out. Spartak Moscow are third, three points behind leaders Rubin Kazan and level with CSKA, who are fourth.

Spartak's good form so far can be attributed in no small part to Brazilian striker Welliton, who is the league's current top scorer on eight goals. CSKA have the own Brazilian striker, however, in the prolific Vagner Love.