Our football match prediction:
Celtic were struggling in the group stages of the Champions League, but thanks to a 3-0 win over Anderlecht in Brussels they booked their place in the Europa League last 32. The Hoops are on the right track to defend their Scottish Premier League trophy, but fans are hungry for success on European stage as well. It is well known that Celtic have turned their Celtic Park into a real fortress, but Thursday's football match against Zenit will be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts. The Zenitchiki recorded six wins in last seven games in the Europa League and they are definitely capable of matching Brendan Rodgers' men in the upcoming double-header. Considering that the Hoops are tough to beat at home, we predict that the two teams are going to share the spoils in the first leg of the Europa League last 32.
Highlighted Player (Erik Sviatchenko):
Son to an Ukraininian-born artist Segei Sviatchenko, the 24-year-old defender Erik joined Celtic in January 2016. His transition to the Scottish giants have been alleviated by Celtic’s signing of his girlfriend Rudmose, who signed for The Bhoys women’s team in February this year. Erik Sviatchenko began his professional career at FC Midtjylland in 2009, where he had been a starter in almost all of his appearances for the club. Key player for Midtjylland, Sviatchenko helped them to Danish title in 2014-15 as we as in securing progression to the last 32 stage of the UEFA Europa League the following season. After seven years at the Danish side, Sviatchenko moved to Celtic on a four-year deal. He has so far made 14 league appearances for Celtic, but still got the chance to wear the captain’s armband in May. Due to dual citizenship Erik Sviatchenko was eligible to play for Ukraine, but he agreed to a call-upfor the Danish national team in 2015. He has so far earned only five caps for his country.
Highlighted Team (Zenit Petersburg):
Zenit Saint Petersburg are a Russian football club that was founded by workers of Leningrad Metal Plant in 1925. Over the years the Zenitchiki have established themselves as one of the dominant forces in Russian football, but they won their first domestic trophy in 1984. Zenit have been impressive in the national championship in the 21st century, winning four league titles, while clinching two Russian Cups (2010, 2016). The Zenitchiki are a regular participant of the Champions League group stages and in 2008 they did well to win the UEFA Cup. The Russian outfit defeated Glasgow Rangers (2-0) in the title game, with Denisov and Zyryanov both finding the net in the final of the competition. Zenit play their home games at Krestovsky Stadium, the venue that was opened in 2016. Gazprom are the club’s main sponsors and the colour of their home shirts is white-sky blue. Brazilian ace Hulk is probably the most notable footballer who played for Zenit.