Zenit St Petersburg play host to Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their round of 16 Champions League match this Tuesday. In my preview for this match-up I have included my prediction along with betting odds.
Zenit St. Petersburg
Zenit progressed to the knockout rounds after coming in second in Group G behind Atletico Madrid. During the group stages they managed just one win with three draws. Their last match, in all competitions, was the final game in the group stages in which they lost 4-1 away to Austria Wien. Since then they have been on break with the Russian League being on a winter break since early December.
In the Champions League they have scored five goals and averaged 57% possession as well as a respectable 82% pass completion rate. However, they have also allowed nine goals with an average of 1.5 goals per game.
Zenit St. Petersburg has two injuries with their leading goal scorer, Danny, listed as day to day as well as midfielder Roman Shirokov questionable as well. Both could be blows for the teams chances.
Dortmund’s weekend in the Bundesliga did not fare well with a 3-0 away loss to Hamburger SV. It could be that they had one eye on Tuesday’s Champions League clash and didn’t want to end up with any more injuries.
As winners of Group F they advanced with a 4-0-2 record. In doing so they scored 11 goals with an average of 1.8 goals per game from an average of 16.2 shots for a conversion rate of 11%. They also allowed 6 goals per game, an average of one per game from 9.2 shots conceded per game. They kept just one clean sheet during the group stage.
Dortmund has had several long term injuries this season including Neven Subotic, Jakub Blaszczykowski, and Jannik Bandowski all out for the season. More recently they have also lost Mats Hummels, who is listed as day to day and may be okay to play, while Illkay Gundogan will most likely not make it.
My pick is a Borussia Dortmund win, although it should be close and rather evenly matched. Considering that Zenit has two of their best attacking players missing and have had a very long winter break, they could have some struggles.
Betting Odds (Bovada):
Zenit win: 33/10; Draw: 11/4; Borussia Dortmund win: 20/27
Recent Form: Zenit (L, L, D, D, W, L) Dortmund (D, W, W, W, W, L)
Prediction: Zenit St. Petersburg 1 – 2 Borussia Dortmund
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