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UEFA Champions League

  • November 6, 2013
  • • 12:00 PM
  • • Stadion Petrovskij, Sankt-Peterburg (St. Petersburg)
  • Referee: T. Hagen
  • • Attendance: 17786

Champions League Preview: Zenit St Petersburg - Porto

Champions League Preview: Zenit St Petersburg - Porto

The Russians have never lost to Portuguese opposition and can put four points between themselves and the reigning Primeira Liga champion.

Zenit St Petersburg will hope to continue its unbeaten home record this season when the club hosts Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Luciano Spalletti's side has not lost in all 10 of its home fixtures in all competitions, with seven of them ending in victories.

As a result, the club sits three points clear at the top of the Russian Premier League, with the goals of Danny and Hulk crucial.

Midfielder Danny has netted 12 this season - already three times more than he scored last term - while former Porto forward Hulk has weighed in with nine, including two in the Champions League.

Zenit sits second in Group G and has already beaten one side from Portugal this season, toppling Pacos de Ferreira 8-3 on aggregate in the playoffs for Europe's premier club competition.

The result of this match will be vital in determining the outcome of the group, with Zenit and Porto set to battle it out for second place behind runaway leader Atletico Madrid.

The Russian giant has never lost to a Portuguese side, winning four matches and drawing one, including a 3-1 win over Porto in the group stage of the 2011-12 competition.

Spalletti will demand more from his side than it has showed in the last two encounters though.

The team was knocked out of the Russian Cup last week, defeated 2-0 at second-tier FC Tyumen in the round of 32, while it was held to a 1-1 league draw by Amkar Perm on Saturday.

The club will take heart from its 1-0 win at Porto last month, though, with Aleksandr Kerzhakov's goal - which was scored with five minutes left - his 27th in Europe.

Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel will sit out the match through suspension, while Vyacheslav Malafeev has recovered from a calf injury but is unlikely to start.

Porto also tops its league by three points, having posted seven wins and two draws from its first nine matches of the Primeira Liga season.

Paulo Fonseca's side was held to a 1-1 draw at Belenenses on Saturday, with Eliaquim Mangala's strike canceled out by Joao Pedro.

Porto is taking part in its 18th Champions League campaign - only Manchester United has played in the tournament more times - and boasts victories in four of its five trips to Russia in the competition.

The club is unbeaten in an incredible 52 Primeira Liga matches, with its last defeat - which came against Gil Vicente in January 2012 - the only loss in 108 attempts.

Colombian Jackson Martinez topped the scoring charts in Portugal with 26 goals last term and he is in good form for Porto - who will miss the suspended Hector Herrera - again this season with nine strikes so far.

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Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Nov 6, 2013 Zenit 1 - Porto 1
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Oct 22, 2013 Porto 0 - Zenit 1
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Dec 6, 2011 Porto 0 - Zenit 0
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Sep 28, 2011 Zenit 3 - Porto 1
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Last Five Matches
Sep 20, 2014Rostov 0 - Zenit 5RUS1
Sep 16, 2014Benfica 0 - Zenit 2UCL
Sep 13, 2014Zenit 3 - Dinamo Moscow 2RUS1
Aug 31, 2014Lokomotiv Moscow 0 - Zenit 1RUS1
Aug 26, 2014Zenit 3 - Standard 0UCL
Sep 21, 2014Porto 0 - Boavista 0POR1
Sep 17, 2014Porto 6 - FC BATE Borisov 0UCL
Sep 14, 2014Vitoria Guimarães 1 - Porto 1POR1
Aug 31, 2014Porto 3 - Moreirense 0POR1
Aug 26, 2014Porto 2 - Lille 0UCL
Team News
Available Squads
-Yuri LodiginGoalkeeper
15Cristian AnsaldiDefender
4Domenico CriscitoDefender
6Nicolas LombaertsDefender
14Tomás HubocanDefender
-Roman ShirokovMidfielder
-Oleg ShatovMidfielder
20Viktor FaizulinMidfielder
28Axel WitselMidfielder
71Egor BaburinGoalkeeper
2Alexander AnyukovDefender
-Konstantin ZyryanovMidfielder
10Andrey ArshavinMidfielder
44Anatoliy TymoshchukMidfielder
11Aleksandr KerzhakovStriker
-Eliaquim MangalaDefender
-Alex SandroDefender
23Nicolás OtamendiDefender
8Lucho GonzálezMidfielder
-Steven DefourMidfielder
-Jackson MartínezStriker
17Silvestre VarelaStriker
4Maicon Pereira RoqueDefender
4D. ReyesDefender
-M. AguMidfielder
-Nabil GhilasStriker
-Ricardo PereiraStriker

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