Champions League Preview: Zenit St Petersburg - Anderlecht

William Shand
Champions League Preview: Zenit St Petersburg - Anderlecht
Anyukov, Hubocan, Lombaerts, Criscito
Faizulin, Witsel, Shirokov
Bystrov, Kerzhakov, Hulk
Gillet, Kouyate, Nuytinck, Deschacht
Yakovenko, Kanu, Biglia, Jovanovic
Praet, de Sutter

Zenit will be looking to claim its first win of the Champions League campaign as it faces off against Anderlecht in the first of its back-to-back Group C matches.

Following its matchday two home defeat at the hands of AC Milan, the Russians will be fully aware of how pivotal three points at the expense of their Belgian challengers could prove to be.

Head coach Luciano Spalletti as a full squad at his disposal (with the exception of Danny, a long-term absentee) and will look to unleash the full wealth of attacking talent at his disposal.

Anderlecht, meanwhile, will hope to bounce back from a heavy home defeat at the hands of in-form Malaga. The Belgian champions are missing strikers Matias Suarez and Cyriac to long-term injury and it is perhaps no coincidence that they have failed to register a goal thus far.

Another striker Dieumerci Mbokani has a broken nose, while Massimo Bruno has a toe injury.

  • Zenit conceded six goals in its first two games, the joint highest total in the group stage along with Nordsjællandand and Spartak Moscow.

  • The Russian side is the only team who were not caught offside in its first two matches.
  • Aleksandr Kerzhakov is Zenit’s top scorer with 7 goals in 11 appearances in all competitions.

  • Goalkeeper Silvio Proto is the only player to have featured in all 540 minutes of Anderlecht's campaign.
  • The Belgians are eight group stage matches without a win, since Vincent Kompany earned a 1-0 victory at Real Betis on December 6 2005 to end a record run of 12 group stage defeats.

  • Milan Jovanovic spent a total of two years in the Russian Premier League, representing Lokomotiv Moscow between 2004 and 2006.