Our prediction for this Champions League match:
After suffering a 1-0 loss to Chelsea in their Champions League opener, Zenit will be looking to record their first win of the process when they host Malmo to their Gazprom Arena. The Zenitchiki are a real force to be reckoned with at home, but they will have to prove their worth on the field. Artem Dzyuba, who found the net in a 2-1 win over Krylya Sovetov at the weekend, will be the man to watch in the home team, while all Lovren, Odzoev, and Karavaev are likely to miss the game with injuries.
The Swedish champions, on the other hand, rolled over Orebro 5-1 in the Allsvenskan at the weekend, meaning that they are high on spirits ahead of the trip to Sankt Petersburg. Anyhow, home win should be considered as Zenit are on a six-game winning run on home soil. Eric Larsson returns from a domestic ban, while all Knudsen, Lewicki, Moisander, Rieks, and Toivonen are out of contention with injuries.
Highlighted Player (Artem Dzyuba):
Over the years Artem Dzyuba has established himself as one of the best players in the Russian Premier League. The 196-cm-tall attacker began his senior career at Spartak Moscow and after ending his loan spells with Tom Tomsk and Rostov, he moved to Zenit St. Petersburg in 2015.
Artem Dzyuba scored 15 goals for the Zenitchiki in the 2015-16 Russian Premier League campaign, while providing nine assists for his teammates. The Russian forward was not as successful in the 2016/2017 season as he scored 13 goals in 26 appearances for Roberto Mancini’s troops, while having six assists. Dzyuba made his debut for the Russia national football team in November 2011 in a friendly game against Greece, but he did not represent Russia at the Euro 2012 finals.
The Zenit striker scored his first goal for the Russian national team on September 8, 2014 in a 4-0 win over Liechtenstein. Artem Dzyuba was born in Moscow (Soviet Union) on August 22, 1988 and he is a product of Spartak Moscow football school.
Highlighted Team (Malmo):
Founded on February 24, 1910, Malmo are a Swedish team that compete in Allsvenskan league. The Blues welcome their rivals at Stadion, Malmo, the venue which was opened in April, 2009. It is important to note that the stadium can hold up to 22,500 supporters of which 18,000 are seated.
Malmo are the most successful Swedish side, with the team winning their 23rd domestic trophy in 2017. The Blues finished the season seven points clear of AIK, scoring 63 goals and conceding 27 in the process. Speaking of the club’s European success, Malmo did well to make it to the European Cup final in the 1978/1979 season, but they eventually failed to win the trophy.
The Swedish side were beaten by Nottingham Forest in the title game (0-1), with Trevor John Francis scoring the only goal of the match. Malmo wear sky-blue shirts and white shorts when playing at home, whereas their away colour is black.