Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Zenit will be aiming to bounce back from a heavy 4-0 loss to Dinamo Minsk when the two teams face each other at Stadion Petrovskiy in the Europa League third qualifying round, return leg. The Zenitchiki are determined to book their place in the group stages of the competition, but they will have to be at their sharpest in Thursday’s football game if they are to overcome the deficit. Dinamo Minsk proved their worth in the first leg and we predict that the Belarusian side will adopt a defence-minded approach in Russia. Zenit are unlikely to record a huge win over Dinamo Minsk in the second leg, but seeing that coach Sergei Semak is going to field the best possible side this time out, we are tempted to put our money on the Russian club. You should know that the Zenitchiki recorded five wins in previous six home games in EL.
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 (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.