Zenit St Petersburg v Borussia Dortmund: Champions League match preview
A look ahead to this Tuesday's Champions League Round of 16 tie at the Petrovsky Stadium
Tuesday 25 February 2014
This match will be the first time Borussia Dortmund and Zenit St Petersburg have faced each other. The first leg of this Round of 16 tie will be held in Petersburg at the Petrovosky Stadium, a place where Zenit have lost only once this season.
Zenit currently sit second in the Russian Premier League behind leaders Lokomotiv Moscow, but only on goal difference. In the tournament’s group stage, Zenit finished a massive ten points behind Group G leaders Atletico Madrid, winning only two of their six group matches en route to the knockout stages of the tournament.
The Russian club has failed to replicate their consistent domestic form on the European stage and have conceded nine goals, scoring only four in reply. Forwards Hulk and Kerzhakov have scored a brace each and are the only two Zenit players to score in the Champions League this season.
Borussia Dortmund have had a similar season, doing well in one competition and performing below their best in the other. Jurgen Klopp’s team qualified top in Group F, in what was dubbed the ‘Group of Death’. With three teams finishing on twelve points after six group games, Dortmund’s superior goal difference helped them edge out Arsenal to claim the top spot and left Napoli to re-join the Europa League.
Der BvB are currently third in the Bundesliga, one point behind second placed Bayer Leverkusen; however they are twenty points behind leaders Bayern Munich. Topping their Champions League group has been a stark contrast to their Bundesliga form. Injuries have plagued the side with centre back Neven Subotic and highly rated central midfielder Ilkay Gundogan being sidelined with injuries since the latter half of 2013. Recent injuries to Sven Bender and Jakub Blaszczykowski have not helped the cause.
With Dortmund’s domestic title hopes over, their Champions League campaign has taken on added importance. Securing crucial away goals, making it easier to progress to the quarter-finals of the tournament, will be high on the agenda.
KICK OFF: Tuesday, 5.00pm
The sides have never met before.
The Champions League knockout round of 16 will be the first time Borussia Dortmund and Zenit St Petersburg will face each other in the history of the two European clubs.
Zenit have only lost five times this season, two of those defeats have been in the Champions League.
Borussia Dortmund’s first defeat of the season was in the Champions League this year, against Napoli in September.
Apart from Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund are the only side in the Bundesliga this season who have a goal difference of over twenty.
Zenit St Petersburg to win: 4.6
Borussia Dortmund to win: 1.9
TV: Live on Sky Sports 1/Sky Sports 1 HD at 5.00pm
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