Zenit St.Petersburg v Juventus: UEFA Champion's League Match, Team News, Goal Scorers and Stats

Date: 20-10-2021 1:50 pm (1 month ago) | Author: Olusanya Akinrinola
- at 20-10-2021 01:50 PM (1 month ago)
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Date: Wednesday 20th October, 2021
Time: 8:00 pm
Stadium Gazprom Arena
Referee    Sandro Schaerer (Switzerland)
Goal Scorer:
 
Team News
Zenit St. Petersburg
Zenit boss Sergei Semak has already confirmed that midfielder Magomed Ozdoev is the club’s only absentee on the night. The Russians have an otherwise fully fit squad to choose from. The return of Sardar Azmoun, who was suspended for the game against Arsenal Tula will be a massive boost for the home side. Nicknamed the Iranian Messi, the 26-year-old is in good form notching up six goals and one assist in 12 games so far this season.

Semak looks set to keep faith in his  3-4-3 system that has so far worked a charm.  The Zenit side practically picks itself with Mikhail Kerzakhov set to start in goal. He will be protected by the back three of Yaroslav Rakitskiy, Dmitriy Chistyakov and Wilmar Barrios.

Douglas Santos and Aleksey Sutormin will be tasked to provide the width as wing-backs on the night. The duo will be needed to put in a shift at both ends of the pitch and could prove pivotal to Zenit’s efforts of matching Juventus.

Wendel and Daler Kuzyaev will provide a presence in the central midfield. The duo will need to establish their dominance over Juventus in the middle of the park if they have to give the full-backs the freedom to attack. Should Zenit lose the midfield battle, the formation could very well drop to a 5-2-3 that will defend deep and look to attack on the counter.

Semak’s front three of Claudinho, Azmoun and Malcom certainly pack a punch and can be wily customers on their day. The slow Juventus backline of  Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini will need to call upon their years of experience to stop their moire nimble opponents.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Kerzakhov; Rakitskiy, Chistyakov, Barrios; Santos, Wendel, Kuzyaev, Sutormin; Claudinho, Azmoun, Malcom

Juventus
Allegri’s men have overcome a difficult start to the season and are now steadily establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with. While Juventus still have some days to go before being considered genuine challengers, they have shown the knack to get results over the line.

The Old Lady go into the game on the back of an eight-match unbeaten streak. Despite having to make without a number of players, they should have enough in their tank to at least come away with a point. Allegri could once again go with a 4-4-2 formation on the night.

Wojciech Szczesny is certain to start in goal behind the veteran pair of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. Young centre-back Matthijs de Ligt whose future at the club appears to be in question is sidelined for the game.
The South American duo of Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado will be tasked with providing width from the full-back positions. Summer signing Manuel Locatelli and Rodrigo Bentancur look set to start in midfield and provide the base for the more offensive players to thrive.

Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi look start to start out wide. How well they can combine with the likes of Sandro and Cuadrado behind them could set the tone for the battle on the wings.

Alvaro Morata returned from injury against AS Roma and looks set to start the game this time around. He will partner Moise Kean who scored the winner at the weekend against the Giallorossi. With the likes of Dejan Kulusevski also available on the bench, Allegri is not short of options.

French international Adrien Rabiot misses out after testing positive for COVID-19. Juventus will also be without stalwart South American forward Paulo Dybala.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Szczesny; Sandro, Chiellini, Bonucci, Cuadrado; Bernardeschi, Locatelli, Bentancur, Chiesa; Kean, Morata

Quote
Key Stats
Juventus are on an eight-match unbeaten streak while Zenit have lost their last two games.
Juventus’s Leonardo Bonucci and Zenit’s Yaroslav Rakitskyi will make their 100th appearance in the UEFA Champions League should they feature on the night.
Juventus have never lost their eight previous encounters with Russian sides (W7 D1). The lone draw, however, came against Zenit.
Zenit St Petersburg have only lost one of their last five home games against Italian opponents in European competitions (W2 D2).
Zenit’s Douglas Santos has created the joint-most chances from open play in the UEFA Champions League this season (Cool.

Prediction: Zenit St Petersburg 1-1 Juventus


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