MX23RW : Tuesday, October 26 18:42:25| >> :120:82721:82721:
Oct 3, 2021 at 2.30pm UK at Petrovsky Stadium
ZenitZenit St Petersburg
1-2
SochiSochi
Dzyuba (45')
Azmoun (42')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Cassierra (67'), Terekhov (71')
Terekhov (44'), Zaika (63'), Cassierra (90+2'), Noboa (90+4')

Preview: Zenit St Petersburg vs. Sochi - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Russian Premier League clash between Zenit St Petersburg and Sochi, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Following their emphatic 4-0 victory over Malmo in midweek, Zenit St Petersburg play host to PFC Sochi at the Gazprom Arena on Sunday in the Russian Premier League.

Zenit currently sit top of the table and are undefeated heading into the match, while Sochi are in sixth, coming off the back of a 3-0 defeat away to Krasnodar last weekend.


Match preview

Zenit Saint Petersburg's Aleksei Sutormin celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates on September 29, 2021© Reuters

Champions Zenit have been in fine form this season and have yet to be beaten after nine games in the Russian Premier League, winning seven and drawing two.

Sergei Semak's side have not dropped a single point on their own turf so far this term, winning all four matches they have played, and they are favourites to continue this run of form against Sochi on Sunday.

Artem Dzyuba found the net against Krylia Sovetov in their last league match to score his third goal of the season after an initial slow start - prior to grabbing a brace away to Rubin Kazan, the Russian international had failed to score in eight matches in all competitions.

The last time Zenit dropped points at home in the league was back in February of this year when they drew 2-2 with FC Rostov, while their last defeat at the Gazprom Arena came in the Russian Cup as they lost 2-1 to Arsenal Tula, also in February this year.

Sochi were only founded just over three years ago in June 2018 and they will be looking to build on their fifth-placed finish in the league last season.

The visitors made a strong start to the season but they head into this match not on the best form, picking up two defeats from their last two matches as they lost to Dynamo Moscow and Krasnodar respectively, failing to score in both games.

Vladimir Fedotov's side have struggled away from home this season, losing three matches out of five, and they face a difficult Zenit side in a rich vein of form at the weekend.

However, they will be leaning on their impressive defensive record this season, conceding just nine goals in nine matches, which ranks them joint-third for fewest goals conceded.

Sochi's record against Zenit does not put them in good stead for this one as they have failed to pick up a single point in all five of the previous matches against them.

Zenit St Petersburg Russian Premier League form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Zenit St Petersburg form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W

Sochi Russian Premier League form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L



Team News

Zenit St Petersburg's Artem Dzyuba in action with Chelsea's Marcos Alonso on September 14, 2021© Reuters

Zenit will be without Magomed Ozdoev, with the midfielder out due with a long-term injury, whilst defender Vyacheslav Karavaev is an injury doubt having missed the last five matchday squads.

Mikhail Kerzhakov is also a doubt since the keeper has missed training the last few days for family reasons.

Former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren returned to the squad in Zenit's UEFA Champions League clash against Malmo but he failed to make an appearance so he could get some minutes here.

Head coach Semak has used both four and five-at-the-back systems so far so either could be deployed against Sochi. However, Semak did use a five-at-the-back system in midweek during their win over Malmo.

Marko Dugandzic and Maksim Barsov did not travel to Krasnodar for Sochi's last match so it is likely that they will miss out again here.

Ivelin Popov was subbed off in the first half against Krasnodar and so is a doubt for the match against Zenit.

Zenit St Petersburg possible starting lineup:
Kritsyuk; Barrios, Chistyakov, Rakitskiy; Sutormin, Kuzyaev, Wendel, Santos; Malcolm, Dzyuba, Claudinho

Sochi possible starting lineup:
Dzhanaev; Prokhin, Rodrigo, Barac; Margasov, Tsallagov, Noboa, Terekhov; Popov, Yusupov; Cassierra


SM words green background

We say: Zenit St Petersburg 3-1 Sochi

Zenit are unstoppable in the Russian Premier League this term and, after their 4-0 hammering of Malmo in midweek, we are predicting them to continue in the same form against Sochi.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


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How you voted: Zenit vs Sochi

Zenit St Petersburg
96.2%
Draw
3.8%
Sochi
0.0%
26
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Zenit St PetersburgZenit1282230151526
2Dynamo Moscow127232012823
3CSKA MoscowCSKA12723179823
4FC KrasnodarKrasnodar1263322111121
5Lokomotiv MoscowLokomotiv125611711621
6Sochi127051814421
7Spartak Moscow125251417-317
8Rubin Kazan124441614216
9Krylia SovetovKrylia Sovetov125161516-116
10Akhmat GroznyAkhmat Grozny125071218-615
11Nizhny Novgorod124261319-614
12RostovRostov123361923-412
13Arsenal TulaArsenal Tula123361424-1012
14KhimkiKhimki122551119-811
15FC UfaUfa122461319-610
16Ural YekaterinburgUral12237515-109

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