Our prediction for this Europa League match:
Zenit play host to Fenerbahce at their Saint-Petersburg Stadium in the Europa League last 32, first leg. The Zenitchiki aim to overcome a 1-0 goal deficit in the return leg and we are positive that they are going to adopt an attack-minded approach in Thursday’s football match. Artem Dzyuba failed to impress in the 1-0 loss to Fenerbahce in Istanbul, but we believe that the Russian attacker is going to pose a big threat for the opposition defenders in the return leg. Mak missed a penalty in the first leg, but he is likely to make life difficult for Fener back-line as well. The Turkish side did well to keep a clean sheet in front of home fans and they are now on a quest to defend their slim lead. Fenerbahce have been producing much better displays ever since Ersun Yanal took over the reins, but seeing that Zenit are a real force to be reckoned with at home, home win should be considered.
Highlighted Player (Yaroslav Rakitskiy):
Yaroslav Rakitskiy is a professional footballer who was born on 3 August, 1989. Rakitskiy made his Shakhtar Donetsk debut on 31 August, 2009 in a 3-1 win over Zorya. It has to be noted that he came as a substitute in the second half of the match. The Ukrainian footballer who plays as both centre and a left back, made 24 league appearances for the club in the 2009/2010 season and he has been playing for the Miners ever since. Rakitskiy made his Ukraine debut on 10 October, 2009 in a 1-0 win over England in a World Cup qualifying match. Just four days later he scored his first goal for the Ukrainian national team, finding the net in a thrilling 6-0 victory over Andorra. Yaroslav made two appearances for Ukraine at the 2016 European Championship finals in France, in the opener against Germany (0-2) and in a 2-0 loss to Northern Ireland. His contract with Shakhtar Donetsk expires on 30 June, 2018.
Highlighted Team (Fenerbahce):
Fenerbahce are one of the biggest football clubs in Turkey. The Kanaryalar were founded on 3 May, 1907 as Fenerbahce Futbol Kulubu. Fener won their first domestic trophy in 1959 and they quickly established themselves as one of the main forces in Turkish football. In 2014 Fenerbahce clinched their 19th league title, with the team finishing the season nine points clear of Besiktas. Galatasaray are considered Fener’s bitterest rivals and the two teams face each other in Kitalar Arasi Derbi. The rivalry between the clubs started back in 1934, when a friendly between the two teams was abandoned due to riots. Besiktas are regarded as Fenerbahce’s big rivals as well. The likes of Mujdat Yetkiner, Zeki Riza Sporel, Aykut Kocaman, Emre Belozoglu, Alex, Nicolas Anelka, Diego Lugano, Roberto Carlos and Dirk Kuyt are famous footballers who played for the club in the past. The Kanaryalar play their home games at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, the venue that was opened in 1908. Fener’s home kits are navy blue and yellow.