Date: October 1, 2014
Venue: Stadion Petrovskij, Sankt-Peterburg, Russia
Kick off time: 17:0 hrs BST
Zenit are set to welcome Monaco of France to St Petersburg on Wednesday as the two sides go head to head in their group C match in the UEFA Champions League. Both sides have made winning starts to their respective campaigns with Zenit the more convincing winners from the previous match day in the Champions League.
Zenit form: D-W-W-W-W
Zenit are unbeaten in their last five games. They come into the second round of matches in the group stage of the champions league after having drawn against Spartak Moscow in the Russian top division.
Prior to this match, Europa League winning Portuguese manager Andre Villas Boas’ side had gone four straight matches without dropping any points as they won against Anzhi (2-1), Rostov(5-0), Benfica (2-0) and Dinamo Moscow (3-2).
AS Monaco form: L-W-W-W-L
Monaco have not been able to cope well after a couple of their star players left the principality in the summer. While James Rodriguez had moved to Real Madrid days after the dust around the World Cup had settled, Radamel Falcao made a deadline day move to Manchester United.
That their campaign has been hit by these high profile departures have been well documented. They come into this game on the backs of defeat in Ligue 1 to OGC Nice. While they did win three on the trot prior to this game – all 1-0 wins against Montpellier, Guingamp, and Bayer Leverkusen (in Europe), Monaco were beaten 2-1 by Lyon on September 12.
Former Porto star Hulk, who had been a part of the Brazil team for the World Cup earlier this year, has been in devastating form for Zenit. He has been handed a fresh lease of life in Zenit after the arrival of his former coach Villas Boas. Hulk scored one of the goals against Benfica on match day 1 and will be looking to contribute to the team’s charge for goals.
Monaco: Joao Moutinho
While Moutinho has been reported to be angered by the negativity surrounding Monaco’s campaign, his performances on the pitch haven’t been affected. In fact, it was his strike against Leverkusen which proved to be the winner and the Portuguese international central midfielder has not lost any of those instincts which marked him out as one of Europe’s most talented players in his position.
Zenit will be definite favourites but Monaco could look to staunchly defend and prevent a total whitewash. Zenit to win this one but with less than 2.5 goals to be scored in the game – which is at 1.8 with BetVictor.