Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Thursday’s football game at Ulker Stadyumu Fenerbahce Sukru Saracoglu Spor Kompleksi pits together Fenerbahce and Zenit. The Turkish side have been improving their game week by week ever since Ersun Yanal took over the reins and they must be high on confidence ahead of the visit of Zenit. Fener aim to take the lead in the first leg, but this game will be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts. The Zenitchiki were producing fine performances in the group stages and they definitely capable of making life difficult for the Turks in Istanbul. However, considering that Fenerbahce have been in a fine form of late, we believe that the two teams are going to play out a draw in Thursday’s clash. You should know that Fener and Zenit have never met before in a competitive game. Anyhow, share of spoils is on the horizon.
Highlighted Player (Martin Skrtel):
Martin Skrtel is without a doubt one of Slovakia’s most famous footballers and with over 80 appearances for the national team, he is also one of their most capped players. Following a bright start to his career at Trencin, the powerful defender secured a move to Zenit, where he would go on to spend next three and a half years.
But, it was the £6.5 million transfer to Liverpool in January 2008 that put him on the map and ensured he would be remembered by football fans everywhere. Known for his uncompromising style of play that often got him into trouble, Skrtel enjoyed some success at Anfield, and even though major titles eluded him and his teammates, the centre-back scored in the 2011/2012 League Cup final to help the Reds lift the coveted trophy.
The Slovakian defender has so far made over 240 Premier League appearances for one of England’s most famous clubs and he has also been a real rock at the back for the Slovakian national team. Skrtel has missed very few competitive matches for his country after making his debut back in 2004, and he started four fixtures at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
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.