Europa League: Zenit St Petersburg v Liverpool match preview
A look ahead to tonight’s Europa League fixture at the Stadion Petrovski
Thursday 14 February 2013
Liverpool will be without cup-tied Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho for their clash with Zenit St Petersburg, but they have no further injuries to worry about. The Russian champions have not played a competitive match since their 1-1 draw with Anzhi Makhachkala on December 10, but have since played a number of friendlies to maintain some sort of match fitness.
Brendan Rodgers has included teenagers Suso and Conor Coady in the provisional 20-man squad to cover for Sturridge and Coutinho, who have already featured in Europe for Chelsea and Inter Milan respectively. The Reds boss has expressed his concern for the reaction his players will receive at the Stadion Petrovski, with a group of Zenit fans calling for non-white and gay players to be excluded from their side in December.
The two clubs have never met before in European competition, but both have a successful history with the UEFA Cup –the Europa League’s predecessor – with Liverpool holding a record-equalling three trophies while Zenit won the cup in 2008/09. The last time the Russian side met an English club, they emerged 2-1 winners against Manchester United in the 2008 UEFA Super Cup.
Liverpool have already met a Premier-Liga side this season, winning 1-0 at home and losing 1-0 away against Anzhi Makhachkala in the group stage.
Zenit have lost only one of their last 19 European home games, losing 3-2 to AC Milan in the Champions League group stage in the autumn.
The Russian side finished third in Group C to move into the Europa League last 32.
Liverpool signed centre-back Martin Skrtel from Zenit in 2008, with the Slovakian tasting success in Russia winning the league title in 2007.
Liverpool have reached the round of 32 for the third time since the introduction of the group stage and have yet to fall at this hurdle.
Zenit St Petersburg to win: 2.54
Liverpool to win: 3.15
TV: Live on ITV4 at 5pm.
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Arsenal transfer news: Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to make late move for Edinson Cavani
WWE Raw preview: Will John Cena continue to defy the threat of Brock Lesnar?
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pictured in Rome as club close in on Manchester United striker for £17m
Danny Welbeck signs for Arsenal: Gunners confirm signing of striker from Manchester United
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage