Our football match prediction:
Zenit will be looking to keep their 100% in Group D intact when they welcome Maccabi Tel Aviv at their Stadion Petrovskiy on Thursday evening. The Russian side did well to beat Krylya Sovetov in their last league match and seeing that the Zenitchiki have already booked their place in the Europa League knockout stages, there is every chance coach Mircea Lucescu will mix the squad against Maccabi Tel Aviv. The likes of Djordjevic and Kerzhakov are likely to play against the Israeli outfit, but regardless of which players will be deployed in the starting line-up, we predict that the hosts will emerge triumphant in Thursday’s football match at Stadion Petrovskiy. Maccabi Tel Aviv are level on points with second-placed Dundalk ahead of the trip to Russia, but despite the fact that they are still in the race for a place in the last 32, we are tempted to put our money on the Group D leaders this time out.
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 (Maccabi Tel Aviv):
Maccabi Tel Aviv are the oldest and probably the biggest clubs in Israel. The club was founded in 1906 and they have been playing an important role in the Israeli League ever since. In 2015 Maccabi won their 21st trophy in the national championship and the same season they clinched their 23rd Israeli Cup title. The club’s fiercest rivals are Hapoel Tel-Aviv and they welcome their opponents at Netanya Stadium. The capacity of the venue is 13 610. The likes of Beitar Jerusalem Hapoel Be’er Sheva and Maccabi Haifa are considered Maccabi Tel Aviv’s bitter rivals as well. In 1969 the club won the AFC Champions League and they repeated the success two years later, beating Aliyat Al-Shorta in the final. The likes of Jordi Cruyff, Paulo Sousa, Rade Prica, Moanes Dabour and Vincent Enyeama are the high-profile footballers who were part of the team in the past. The colour of Maccabi’s home kit is yellow and blue.