Preview: Zenit St. Petersburg VS Borussia Dortmund

Tuesday- February 25, 2014/Kick off: 6:00PM/Last 16/Stadion Petrovski

zenit-vs-b-dortmudThis will be the first competitive meeting between these two sides and only the second time the Russian side have made it through to the last 16. In 2011/12 they beat Benfica 3-2 at home, Roman Shirokov scoring twice, but lost 2-0 away. Zenit has struggled in the Champions league but has been successful in the Europa League. Meanwhile, Coach Luciano Spaletti is hoping that his wards can “write a chapter in the club’s history” by ousting last season’s finalists, Borussia Dortmund.

training2396_w2Zenit have not played a domestic fixture since 6 December when they ended 2013 level with FC Lokomotiv Moskva atop the Premier-Liga. They have played friendlies in Qatar, Israel and Turkey. They will be looking to heap further misery on a Dortmund side heading into the fixture on the back of a disappointing 3-0 defeat to Hamburg.
Dortmund were fortunate that Leverkusen slipped up against Wolfsburg at the weekend as they look to secure a second placed finish, with Bayern Munich now 19 points clear in the Bundesliga.

TEAM NEWS

For Zenit St. Petersburg:

-Roman Shirokov is expected to miss out through injury, while Danny is a doubt but should be ok to start.

-First-team regulars Hulk and Tomas Hubocan are both one booking away from suspension.

For Borussia Dortmund:
-Dortmund have a number of injury worries ahead of the trip to Russia, with Neven Subotic, Ilkay Gündogan, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Sven Bender all sidelined.

-Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowksi are carrying knocks, but will likely feature from the off.
-Marco Reus and Sven Bender (both thigh) returned to action at the weekend after respective two-week absences, but the latter may be sidelined until May by a groin injury sustained in the first half while Erik Durm has a thigh complaint.

HOW THEY WILL LINE UP

Looking into the mind of both coaches, this is how they will probably line up their team.
dortmundimagesFor Spaletti, using a 4-2-2-2 formation: Lodygin – Smolnikov, Hubocan, Lombaerts, Criscito – Witsel, Shirokov – Faizulin, Ryazantsev – Hulk, Kerzhakov

bvbFor Jorgen Klopp, using a 4-2-3-1 formation: Weidenfeller – Piszczek, Sokratis, M.Friedrich, Schmelzer – Sahin, Kehl – Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Reus – Lewandowski

HalftimeNG Prediciton: . While a lack of match fitness could affect the hosts, they’ll look to make home advantage count but Dortmund might capitalise on that as well. Zenit 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

Adeyemi Adesanya
Sports Business Consultant and Football Intermediary; Risk Management & Due Diligence Consultant; Freelance Football writer & Pundit on Radio & TV and Man.Utd Fan
http://www.halftimeng.com

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