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Champions League: Zenit vs Gent preview

Kick off: Tuesday, 29.09.2015 @20:45

Venue: Petrovsky Stadium

Head to head record

No past meetings

Zenit vs Gent prediction

Russian side are looking to build on a successful Champions League opener against Valencia away and will be highly motivated when they host Gent. Visitors have been on fairly fine form recently and will be hoping to make a surprise result when they take on Zenit on Tuesday night.

Hulk on fire

With their key man in excellent shape the Russians are favourites for the game against Gent. Host were held back to a 2-2 draw against Spartak Moscow last weekend and will need a swift return to winning ways in the Champions League. Their European opener was a highly entertaining encounter against Valencia which was won thanks to a brace by Hulk and one goal from Witsel. The Brazilian continued his fine form having scored a howler in a derby against Spartak Moscow which was ultimately not enough to earn a win. Russian side have a couple of problems off pitch, with their manager serving a six-match ban for confronting an official. Andre Villas Boas also confirmed he will be leaving the club at the end of the season, and just to make thing worse Hulk is once again being racially abused from the stands.

Oleg Shatov is the only concern for the upcoming encounter and his absence could mean that Igor Smolnikov will be pushed further up the field. No other players are injured or suspended for the Gent game.

Gent going against tradition

Belgian side are on a fantastic unbeaten run spreading up to fourteen games in a row. Their European premiere was ended with a share of spoils against Lyon at home, but Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s charges have since then notched up three wins and are traveling to Russia on high spirits. It will not be easy, as the Buffalos will have history against them as well. Namely, Zenit have won all five previous home games against Belgian opposition with an impressive goals difference of 12 goals scored and only one conceded. Gent will be hoping to crush the tradition in their first ever competitive game against the Russian household name. What is more, Gent are traveling to Russia for the first time after 1991-92 EUFA Cup fixture against Dinamo Moscow when they played a goalless draw on the road.

Visitors will be without the help of their two suspended players Thomas Foket and Brecht Dejaegere who saw red in the last game, while Eric Johansson is out due to his knee injury.

Zenit vs Gent betting tip

Zenit would be foolish to underestimate the team which are considered minnows in group H, as Gent are on a great run. However, the Belgians have lost 10 of their last 11 away games in European competition and home advantage could prove to be crucial in this encounter once again. Zenit are tough to break and I do not expect the visitors to find the net in this game.

Tip: Zenit to win to nil

Odds: 2.30 (13/10) @BetVictor

[fixture match_id=”4120061752941678273147353″ type=”odds”]

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