Slavia take on Zenit in their last Europa League game in Group C. Situation is clear: The guests from St. Petersburg have already qualified for the next stage sitting on top of group table with 11 points, 4 points ahead of the red-whites. Slavia need at least one point to secure their qualification regardless of the other game between FC Copenhagen and Bordeaux.
Even though Zenit hold the first place in Russian Premier League after the first half of their campaign, the blue-white-sky blues have lost three out of the last four league games with defeats from CSKA Moscow, Arsenal Tula and most recently Rubin Kazan. Moreover, the loss against Kazan was the first home defeat of the season.
On the other hand, Slavia, who also top the Czech league, have lost only one out of the last 12 domestic and international games, when the sole defeat came in the utmost important away game against Girondins Bordeaux. The red-whites have started their best season since 1945 with 15 wins out of 18 games in Czech FORTUNA:LIGA. Slavia lead the table 4 points ahead of Viktoria Plzen and 13 points ahead of FK Jablonec.
Zenit thus approach the game with much more relaxed attitude as they have already secured their qualification as well as the first position in the group but need a good result to calm their fans down after a series of unconvincing results. Slavia on the other hand want to confirm their home European record and remain unbeaten in Eden this year. One point at least means qualification, in case of defeat the red-whites would have to hope for a draw between Copenhagen and Bordeaux.
Christian Noboa, who is yet to make an impact for Zenit after his transfer from Rostov, is out of the game due to a long-term knee injury. Zenit won’t be able to use once feared offensive service of Russian striker Alexander Kokorin, who remained the only scorer of the first mutual game in St. Petersburg. Kokorin is currently spending his days in custody being charged of criminal battery.
Apart from long-term injuries of Stanislav Tecl and Jakub Hromada, Slavia cannot use left-back Jan Bořil who was awarded second yellow cardof the campaign in Bordeaux.
The encounter between the first two teams of the group C kicks off on Thursday 13 December at 9 pm on Sinobo Stadium (Eden). The game will be broadcasted by Czech TV “CT2” channel. Follow #ZenitSlavia on social media for more information.
Remaining tickets can be purchased online via Ticketportal.