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Having been thoroughly outplayed in front of their own fans in the first leg, Al Hain-Cole expects the Russians to suffer another heavy defeat in Germany

Having lost 4-2 at the Petrovsky Stadium in the home leg, Zenit St Petersburg have a mountain to climb when they travel to Germany to take on Borussia Dortmund for their Champions League last-16 clash.

That defeat, coupled with a disappointing goalless draw against struggling Tom Tomsk the following weekend, was enough to cost Luciano Spalletti his job, and caretaker manager Sergei Semak is available at 8/1 (9.00) with Paddy Power to sign off with a big win before Andre Villas-Boas takes over tomorrow.

Die Schwarzgelben suffered a surprise 2-1 home defeat against Borussia Monchengladbach at the weekend but are clear 4/11 (1.36) favourites to bounce straight back with a victory tonight.

There have been not draws in any of the hosts’ last 11 fixtures in this competition, but you can get odds of 4/1 (5.00) on the teams sharing the spoils this time out.

With Andre Villas-Boas' arrival imminent and a their chances of progression all but non-existent after conceding four goals in the home leg, the Russians find themselves in limbo at the Westfalenstadion this evening.

Any hopes that Spalletti’s departure might provoke an immediate impact among the squad were surely dashed by Saturday’s meek 1-0 defeat against underperforming CSKA Moscow, a performance that did nothing to suggest an historic comeback is on the cards tonight.

In truth, the Sine-Belo-Golubye were fortunate to make it through to the knockout stages at all after recording just a single victory in six group games, qualifying with half the points acquired by a Napoli team that finished third in Dortmund’s group.

The first leg demonstrated just how out of their depth Zenit are at this level, and another heavy defeat looks inevitable when they visit one of the competition’s most feared away grounds.

Jurgen Klopp’s men have won eight of their last nine European games on home turf, scoring three times or more in five of the last six, and even money (2.00) quotes look too good to pass up on them bagging at least three against their beleaguered guests tonight.

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Al Hain-Cole is an experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.

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