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Anderlecht vs Zenit St Petersburg: UEFA Europa League Preview

Anderlecht vs Zenit St Petersburg: UEFA Europa League - Preview & Tips

Anderlecht vs Zenit St Petersburg: UEFA Europa League - Preview

R.S.C. Anderlecht (2nd in Belgian First Division A) have scored plenty of goals at home in this season’s UEFA Europa League but they are up against a prolific side as they welcome Mircea Lucescu’s FC Zenit Saint Petersburg (2nd in Russian Premier League) in the round of 32.

Two former UEFA Cup winners meet in the round of 32 as R.S.C. Anderlecht look to keep the goals flowing at home against Mircea Lucescu’s prolific FC Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Mircea Lucescu arrived at FC Zenit Saint Petersburg this summer, the Romanian ending a 12-year stay with FC Shakhtar Donetsk in which he picked up 8 Ukrainian titles and the 2008/09 UEFA Cup. Mircea Lucescu previously won Turkish championships with Beşiktaş and Galatasaray.

Mircea Lucescu is the most experienced coach in the 2016/17 competition; this will be his 222nd UEFA club competition fixture.

Anderlecht and Zenit are meeting for a 5th time, FC Zenit Saint Petersburg having had the better of their 1st 4 encounters (W3 L1).

FC Zenit Saint Petersburg defeated R.S.C. Anderlecht 3-1 home and away in the 2010/11 Europa League group stage.

Kerzhakov scored again in the 2012/13 Champions League group stage as FC Zenit Saint Petersburg beat R.S.C. Anderlecht 1-0 at home, but they lost by the same scoreline in Brussels.

R.S.C. Anderlecht’s 16 matches against Russian sides have ended W5 D3 L8 (W4 D1 L3 in Brussels – W1 D2 L5 in Russia and the Soviet Union).

FC Zenit Saint Petersburg’s fixtures against Belgian clubs have ended W8 D1 L3 (W2 D1 L3 in Belgium). They have won all 6 of their home matches against Belgian opponents.

R.S.C. Anderlecht have scored 14 goals in their 5 European home matches this season (W3 L2).

A 3-2 defeat by AZ Alkmaar on matchday 6 ended FC Zenit Saint Petersburg’s 100% record in this season’s group stage. Zenit scored at least 2 goals in all of their Group D fixtures.

Since winning the UEFA Cup in 1983 – and losing in the 1984 final – R.S.C. Anderlecht have not made it beyond the last 8 of the UEL competition.

FC Zenit Saint Petersburg reached the Champions League round of 16 last term.

R.S.C. Anderlecht’s Olivier Deschacht (36) and Diego Capel (29) celebrate birthdays on the day of the 1st leg against FC Zenit Saint Petersburg.

FC Zenit Saint Petersburg’s Giuliano and Athletic Club forward Aritz Aduriz are the top scorers in this season’s competition with 6 goals each. Giuliano has also laid on 4 assists, giving him a hand in 10 goals overall.

FC Zenit Saint Petersburg boasts Belgian talent in the form of centre-back Nicolas Lombaerts, who started his career at Club Brugge then moved to Russia in 2007 after 3 years with Gent. R.S.C. Anderlecht’s Deschacht, Youri Tielemans and Leander Dendoncker have played alongside Lombaerts for Belgium.

FC Zenit Saint Petersburg’s midfielder Axel Witsel moved to Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian at the beginning of January 2017.

R.S.C. Anderlecht (1983) and FC Zenit Saint Petersburg (2008) are among 7 former UEFA Cup and Europa League winners in the round of 32, along with Tottenham Hotspur (1972, 1984), Borussia Mönchengladbach (1975 & 1979), Ajax (1992), Schalke (1997) and Shakhtar Donetsk (2009).

Sofiane Hanni, Bram Nuytinck, Emmanuel Sowah, Łukasz Teodorczyk (R.S.C. Anderlecht); Luís Neto (FC Zenit Saint Petersburg) will miss next match if booked.

Capped once by Switzerland, René Weiler is in his first season as R.S.C. Anderlecht coach having spent his first two years abroad with Nürnberg in Germany from 2014–16. The one-time defender established his coaching reputation in his home country with Schaffhausen and Aarau.

Results of each team last 5 matches across all leagues and competitions

RSC Anderlecht last 5 matches (most recent first):
12/02/17 (h)SV Zulte Waregem 4-2 W
03/02/17 (a)KSC Lokeren 0-0 D
29/01/17 (h)Standard Liege 0-0 D
25/01/17 (a)KVC Westerlo 2-4 W
22/01/17 (h)Sint-Truidense VV 3-1 W
Zenit St Petersburg last 5 matches (most recent first):
08/12/16 (a)AZ Alkmaar 3-2 L
03/12/16 (a)FC Rostov 0-0 D
30/11/16 (h)FC Ufa 2-0 W
27/11/16 (a)FK Krasnodar 2-1 L
24/11/16 (h)Maccabi Tel-Aviv 2-0 W

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Betting tips - UEFA Europa League: Anderlecht vs Zenit St Petersburg: UEFA Europa League - Over 2.5 Goals