Football

Return to Leipzig: “Zenit” on Wednesday will play in the UEFA Champions League in Germany

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© RIA Novosti / Alexei Danichev / Go to the banks ofthe Zenit Player Artem Dzyuba in training before the match of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League season 2019/20 against FC “RB Leipzig” (Leipzig, Germany).Возвращение в Лейпциг: "Зенит" в среду сыграет в матче ЛЧ в Германии

Sergey Yaremenko. Players Zenit St. Petersburg on Wednesday on departure will play with German “Leipzig” in the match of the 3rd round of the group stage of the Champions League.

Old friends

St. Petersburg residents have already met with the German club a year and a half ago – in the spring of 2018. Then the rivals met in the 1/8 finals of the Europa League and the opposition has turned out for Zenit failed doubly: they not only lost to “Leipzig” for the sum of two matches (1:2 on the road and 1-1 at home), but also lost in a return match Alexander Kokorin. The striker ruptured a cruciate knee ligament at the beginning of the match and was out for six months.

This meeting is the “blue-white-blue” approach is also not without losses – striker Malcolm and defender Emanuel of Mammana underwent surgery and was incapacitated for a long time.

But recovered Igor Smolnikov, who missed two matches of the championship of Russia because of a fracture of the cartilage of the eighth rib in the match against Portuguese “Benfica” in the 2nd round of the group stage of the Champions League. The defender flew to Germany and took part in an open training “Zenit” on Tuesday.

© RIA Novosti / Alexei Danichev / Go in banksthe Player of “Zenith” Igor Smolnikov in training before the match of the group stage of the UEFA Champions League season 2019/20 against FC “RB Leipzig” (Leipzig, Germany).Возвращение в Лейпциг: "Зенит" в среду сыграет в матче ЛЧ в Германии

At the “Leipzig” due to injuries and will not play defender Ethan Ampadu striker Patrick Chic and attacking midfielder Hannes wolf, who was seriously injured in the summer.

Questionable part in the match defenders Marcel Halstenberg and Ibrahima Konate. First trained on the individual program, and the second did not appear on the 2 October. Sensitive looks loss Konate, who was in the starting lineup in the first two matches of the group stage of the Champions League and five Bundesliga matches.

The problem the bulls

“Zenith” is coming to the match in good form – the team Sergey Semak won the last three matches with a total score of 12:3. St. Petersburg beat Yekaterinburg “Ural” (3:1) and “Rostov” (6:1) in the championship of Russia, as well as the Portuguese “Benfica” (3:1) in the Eurocup. After two rounds of the “blue-white-blue” are leaders in their Champions League group with four points.

The Saxons, on the contrary, have problems – the team of Julian Nagelsen can’t win four games in a row. In the Bundesliga Leipzig lost to Schalke (1:3) and two draws with Bayern (1:1) and Wolfsburg (1:1). In the Champions League, the Germans unexpectedly lost on the home field French “Lyon” (0:2) and with three points, dropped to third place in the group.

“We need to play safely”

Nielsen at a press conference before the match said game structure of “Zenit”. “This team has a clear structure, especially when it comes to ball control. They are widely apply in the attack, actively using flanks. Zenit are very good at matching game, often protected very highly,” said coach at a press conference.

Semak noted that in the away match against the German team need to play safer than usual. “In “Leipzig” a sufficient number of young and fast players. Team make quick transitions from defence to attack, trying to quickly join the fight after losing the ball. It will be very difficult. We need to act more reliably. We will try to show their best game. The opponent will try to win at home, but win the one who will be stronger or luckier,” said Semak at a press conference.

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