Our football match prediction:
Despite experiencing all sorts of problems against Dundalk at Tallaght Stadium, Zenit eventually came from behind to beat the Irish side in their second away game in the Europa League group stages. The Zenitchiki extended their winning run to three matches and the star-studded Russian outfit will be looking to cement top position in Group D with yet another victory over Dundalk. The Lilywhites celebrated the Irish Premier League trophy at the weekend, with the team beating Galway United on the last day of the season, but beating Zenit in Sankt-Petersburg is easier said than done. The Russians have been impressive under Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu this season and we predict that the hosts are going to hammer Dundalk in Thursday’s football match. Brazilian ace Giuliano has been producing scintillating displays this term and he is likely to prove a handful for the opposition back line.
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 (Dundalk):
Dundalk are the second most successful club in the Republic of Ireland in the term of titles won. In 2015 Dundalk clinched their 11th Premier Division trophy and the same season they lifted their 10th FAI Cup title. The club was founded in 1903 and their biggest rivals are Drogheda United. The Lilywhites made it to the 2016/2017 Europa League group stages and, against all odds, they shared the spoils with AZ Alkmaar in Netherlands on their debut in Group D. Dundalk play their home matches at Oriel Park and the capacity of the stadium is 4,500 (3,000 seated). The venue was opened in 1919 and in 2005 the pitch was converted to an all-weather surface, becoming the first ever Irish club to do so. Their home colours are white and black, whilst they play their away games in black jerseys with yellow stripes and black shorts. Joey Donnelly is one of the notable footballers who played for Dundalk in the past as he scored 141 goals for the club in all competitions.