Monday, February 24, 2014

Zenit vs Borussia Dortmund - Champions League February 25, 2014

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Zenit St Petersburg vs Borussia Dortmund 
Competition: UEFA Champions League

Zenit St Petersburg ended 2013 pretty bad, and ended with a 1-4-3 record counting from November. Spalletti’s men are level on points with Lokomotiv Moscow at the top of the Russian league but their league has winter break from December to March so Zenit St Petersburg are without competitive games. They have been inconsistent in recent friendlies. CSKA Moscow, Trans and Metalurh Donetsk all suffered defeats to Zenit, but the Russians were beaten by Shakhtar Donetsk and Metalist Kharkiv.
In the Champions League so far Zenit drew all three home games. That group was dominated by Atletico Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg finished second. They were lucky that both Porto and Austria Wien could only gain five points from their fixtures. Their last match, in all competitions, was the final game in the UCL group stages in which they lost 4-1 away to Austria Wien.
  • Probable lineups Zenit St Petersburg (4-4-2): Lodygin; Ansaldi, Lombaerts, Hubocan, Smolnikov; Danny, Arshavin, Witsel, Faizulin; Hulk, Kerzhakov.

The Russian club overbid BVB in the last minute of the transfer window for Salomon Rondon from Rubin Kazan. They also got Alexandr Ryanzantsev on a free transfer from Rubin Kazan. Spalletti will have a full squad to choose from barring any late fitness problems,.
Last season’s runners up are faltering in the Bundesliga this season, currently finding themselves 20 points behind leaders Bayern Munich. They defeated Werder Bremen 5-1 away before thrashing Eintracht Frankfurt 4-0 at home but their weekend in the Bundesliga did not fare well with a 3-0 away loss to Hamburger. In the Champions League so far Borussia Dortmund has lost to Napoli, but beaten Arsenal and Marseille away from home.
Klopp will have to make do without the services of Sven Bender for up to 10 weeks after he picked up an injury in their 3-0 Bundesliga defeat against Hamburg. Their defense and midfield are very weakened for this match, since Subotic and Błaszczykowski are definetely out, whilst Gündogan is doubtful too. More recently they have also lost Mats Hummels, who is listed as day to day and may be okay to play as well as Marko Reus.
  • Probable lineups Borussia Dortmund (4-1-3-1): Weidenfeller – Piszczek, Sokratis, M.Friedrich, Schmelzer – Sahin, Kehl – Aubameyang, Mkhitaryan, Reus – Lewandowski.

Match date: Tuesday, 25 February 2014 - Kick Off Time: 17:00 GMT
Venue: Petrovsky Sports Centre, St Petersburg, Russia

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]

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