The question is: will Russia nail a pairs sweep as in 2014? Honestly, the Russian team has all the credentials to accomplish this result despite the absence of the Olympic champions Volosozhar/Trankov.
The olympic silver medalists Stolbova/ Klimov will attempt their first European title in Stockholm. They have been incredibly consistent during the fall season, they have established themselves as top world contenders and their multi-language Notre Dame free skate has captured many's hearts. The goal for them will be not only to take home a European gold medal, but also to improve on the already good scores they received during the grand prix in order to be more competitve against Duhamel/Radford at Worlds. It will be interesting to see weather they will upgrade their technical content next week.
Stolbova/Klimov's free skate at Grand Prix Final
Kavaguti/Smirnov and Tarasova/Morozov are runners up for the other two medals. Tarasova/Morozov, gorgeous couple who made the senior debut this year, won the silver medal with a superb free skate at Nationals ahead of Kavaguti/Smirnov. It is true that Kavaguti/Smirnov have a considerably more difficult free skate compare to Tarasova/Morozov's and probably even an advantage as far as components are concerned, but they often tend to struggle on different technical elements so that not even a nicely executed throw quad salchow can assure them against their younger competitors.
Tarasova/Morozov's free skate at Russian Nationals
Kavaguti/Smirnov's free skate at Russian Nationals