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Zenit Petersburg vs Fenerbahce Prediction & Betting tips
The troubled Fenerbahce hopes to leave her relegation worries behind, when Thursday evening in the sixteenth finals of the Europa League she visits Zenit St. Petersburg. The Turks defend a 1-0 lead from the first leg, but the Russians are traditionally strong at home.
Zenit Saint Petersburg:
Zenit St. Petersburg will be on Thursday night, because the Russians have to try to clean away the 1-0 defeat from last week. The loss in Istanbul was right, because Fenerbahce was clearly the parent. However, the visitors did get great opportunities. In particular attacker Robert Mak will have slept badly, after he had killed a penalty just before half time.
Mak’s mistake could have fatal consequences for the European aspirations of Zenit St. Petersburg. After all, out goals count double, so in case of a Turkish goal, the team of trainer Sergei Semak will have to score at least three times to go on to the eighth finals of the Europa League. The blue-whites are traditionally strong with ten victories in their last eleven European home games in their own St. Petersburg Stadium, but are still in the Russian winter break. The last game against Fenerbahce last week was for the Russian leader only the first game of 2019 in which there really was something at stake. Zenit St. Petersburg has thus been able to rest well, but in Istanbul it did not seem to be completely awake from hibernation. Add to that the moderate end of 2018 and you will understand why the self-confidence of Zenit St. Petersburg is currently at a low level.
Also at Fenerbahce, self-confidence is hard to find. The Turkish top club fell last weekend for its own audience against subtopper Konyaspor no further than a 1-1 draw, despite the fact that the visitors were less than an hour with a man less on the field because of a red card. With only 24 points from 22 rounds of play, the blue gels in their own country are in a sad fifteenth place and are only just above the relegation zone on the basis of a slightly better goal balance. Ersun Yanal, however, does not want to know anything about relegation: ‘I do not think so, because that does not suit a club like Fenerbahce. We should have won today, but played against an opponent who was defending nine men. ‘
Yanal can not pretend that nothing is wrong, but it is indeed a crisis at Fenerbahce. In particular, attacker Islam Slimani must pay for it. The Algerian striker was presented with a lot of fanfare this summer, but with only one goal in fifteen league matches, he is on his way to write the negative club record of Dani Güiza from the books. In the 2008-2009 season, the Spaniard did not go beyond two league goals, making him the book of the worst Fenerbahce striker ever. Slimani scored last week however the only goal of the game, making the Turks now the best papers for reaching the next round. Whether he will kick off again on Thursday-evening is still awaiting, because Monday night the home-loaded city derby against arch-rival Besiktas is waiting in his own country. Avoiding degradation obviously has priority.
Zenit Petersburg vs Fenerbahce head to head matches
12.02.19 EL Fenerbahce Zenit Petersburg 1 : 0