That's right, it's time for some predictions from Rostelecom Cup of Russia! Though considering how unexpected the TEB results were (Savchenko/Szolkowy in third!) my predictions will probably be spectacularly wrong.
Mens is probably the hardest to predict, since who knows how Evgeni Plushenko will do? It's his first competition since his success in Torino , and he's been looking very solid in practice. He's allegedly training for 6 to 7 hours a day, and so has a good shot of making the podium, but how will he fare against Johnny Weir and Takahiko Kozuka? They're the three skaters I predict for a podium position, now that Patrick Chan has withdrawn. Others to watch at the event will be Kevin Van Der Perren and Florent Amodio, who will be making his senior Grand Prix debut.
Mao Asada will be hoping to to win after her defeat in Paris. It'll also, reportedly, be the last performance of her current short program to "Masquerade", as she plans to change it after this event to her exhibition piece, "Caprice". The two skaters that will surely be rounding off the podium are her fellow team mate and supporter at Trophee Eric Bompard, Miki Ando, and the American Ashley Wagner, who recently started her own Youtube vlog series. I think another skater who might manage to sneak up to a podium place is Alena Leonova, who recently won the Findlandia Trophy. I also have to wish Jenna McCorkell luck; according to her Facebook, she had huge difficulties obtaining a visa to come to the event and so I hope all that effort doesn't go to waste for her.
All eyes are going to be on Meryl Davis and Charlie White, especially now that Domnina and Shablin have withdrawn from the event. Their team mates Vanessa Crone and Paul Poitier will also be at the event, and will be likely to make the podium, unless the Italian couple, Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte get in the way. I think these three will be a cinch for medals, but Ekaterina Rubleva and Ivan Shefer might also have a shot. They also have an advantage as they're skating in front of their home crowd, but trying saying that to someone like Brian Joubert!
Again, it'll most likely be a home victory in this event; Yuko Kavaguti and Alexander Smirnov will be looking to improve on last year's silver medal. However, they'll have stiff competition from Pang and Tong, who won the Grand Prix Final last season. The bronze medal has Keauna McLaughlin and Rockne Brubaker's name on it; they'll be competing at the event for the first time. This'll be an exciting event, seeing how these pairs fare.
So that's the rundown of the competition; good luck to all the skaters!
Also, I've created a new poll; it's one which I have already run a few months ago but it'll be interesting to see whether the results change, considering it's a new season, with some of the events changed (Cup of Russia and Skate America both have new sponsors, for example).