Our match prediction:
Winner Stadium will host the match between Maccabi Tel Aviv and Zenit. The Israeli outfit eliminated Hajduk Split in the two-legged tie and they certainly have big ambitions for the 2016/2017 Europa League campaign. Maccabi sit in second place in the Ligat ha’Al standings ahead of the visit of Zenit and it has to be noted that they are on a seven-game unbeaten run in all competitions. Zenit, on the other hand, outplayed Arsenal Tula at the weekend and they will be looking to build on the triumph when they face Maccabi Tel Aviv in their Europa League opener. Artem Dzyuba opened his goal-scoring account at the weekend and the Russian striker is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders. The Zenitchiki impressed in the 5-0 win over Arsenal Tula and we predict that they are going to give fans yet another reason for celebration on Thursday evening.
Highligted Player (Eitan Tibi):
Eitan Tibi is a profesional footballer who plays for Maccabi Tel Aviv. Born in Jerusalem on 16 November, 1987, Tibi started his senior career at his hometown club Beitar Jerusalem. After ending his spell with Beitar in 2010 he moved to Charleroi and it has to be noted that the made nine league appearances for the Belgium outfit in the 2010/2011 season. The Israeli defender then returned to his homeland, signing a contract with Ironi Kiryat Shmona, but he spent no more than one season at the club. In the summer of 2012 he signed a three-year contract with Maccabi Tel Aviv and he has been playing for the club ever since. His main position is centre back, but he is capable of playing as a left back as well. In 2012 Eitan Tibi made his Israel debut against Czech Republic and he has established himself as a first-team regular. He started the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Italy, but Israel suffered a 3-1 loss to Giampiero Ventura’s troops in their opener.
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.