Our football match prediction:
Zenit and Bnei Yehuda take on each other at Stadion Krestovskyi in Sankt-Petersburg in the Europa League third qualifying round, first leg. The Zenitchiki have been producing fine performances at the start of the new Russian Premier League campaign and it is no surprise they are considered hot favourites to win Thursday’s football match against the Israeli outfit. Aleksandr Kokorin found the net in the 2-0 win over SKA and the 26-year-old attacker is likely to prove a handful for the opposition defenders. Bnei Yehuda, on the other hand, did well to upset Trencin of Slovakia in round 2, but they face an uphill task in the double-header against Zenit. It is well known that Roberto Mancini’s men are a real force to be reckoned with at home and we predict that the Zenitchiki are going to record a routine win over the Israeli team in the first leg.
Highlighted Player (Aleksandr Kokorin):
Aleksandr Kokorin started his youth career at Lokomotiv Moscow. The prolific striker then began playing for fellow capital club Dynamo Moscow at senior level and it has to be noted that he scored 19 goals in 114 league appearances for the team. The Russian footballer joined Anzhi Makhackala on 4 July, 2013, but seeing that the whole squad was put up for sale due to financial problems, he did not make his debut for the club in the Russian Premier League. He was quickly transferred back to Dynamo Moscow and in 2016 he signed a contract with star-studded Zenit Saint Petersburg. On 9 April, 2016 Aleksandr Kokorin scored his first goal for the Zenitchki against Amkar Perm. The 183-cm-tall attacker has 17 caps for Russia U-21 team and he made his debut for the first team on 11 November, 2011 in a 1-1 draw with Greece. The Zenit forward scored his first goal for the Russian national team on 11 September, 2012, against Israel.
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.