Stadium: Gazprom Arena (Saint Petersburg)
Zenit had a decent game against Chelsea in London but lost 0-1. Will Sergei Semak’s charges be able to exact revenge in the upcoming encounter? We predict that the English will get a comfortable win!Get Your Sign-Up Bonus!
Zenit have made progress in the Champions League this season compared to last season’s tournament. They have already secured their participation in the Europa League in the spring, finishing third in Group H. This local success was made possible following two head-to-head encounters between the Nevsky club and Malmö, with Sergei Semak’s charges first demolishing the Swedes 4-0 at home and then forcing a 1-1 draw in the closing minutes of the away clash. In their two clashes with Juventus and their first game against Chelsea, the Russian champions failed to get any points, although they did sometimes display some very decent football. It’s a pity it was inconclusive.
The reigning Champions League winners, Chelsea, began their title defense with a hard-fought game against Zenit. Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal in the 69th minute, followed by a 0-1 defeat of Juventus. It looked as though the London side would have difficulty progressing out of the group, but then they beat Malmo 4-0 and 1-0 twice, and last time round, they crushed the Italians 4-0 to advance to the top of Group H. In the English league, the Blues were doing extremely well until they unexpectedly lost 2-3 to West Ham in the last round, slipping straight from first to third place in the table.
Expert Betting Tips
Zenit and Chelsea have already decided on the European competitions they will play in in the spring, except that the Neva club will not go anywhere from third place in the Group H standings. At the same time, the English can still pass Juventus, which could be important in the draw of the Champions League last 16. That is why Thomas Tuchel’s men will play with full commitment in St Petersburg, and West Ham beat them in the derby at the weekend. The Russian club has little to offer against such a formidable opponent, so we recommend betting on Chelsea’s victory with a handicap (-1.5) for 2.62.
In the upcoming match, Zenit do not solve any tournament problems, only the UEFA rating is still worth working on, but it is so bad that we can neglect this. All this allows them to finally play their best football against the reigning Champions League winners in their upcoming clash, rather than fear another defeat. Chelsea have also secured a playoff spot in the tournament, so they are unlikely to play the pragmatic football that Thomas Tuchel is accustomed to. With this in mind, we would expect Total Over 2.5 goals for 1.80.
Romelu Lukaku is Chelsea’s leading scorer this season, who the club purchased in the summer transfer window for a huge sum of money. The Belgian started scoring in his first game for Chelsea but was injured in October and missed a month. Only recently, the coaching staff have been gradually giving the 28-year-old player playing minutes. The striker is finding his form, and the upcoming game is a great chance to regain the taste for scoring. In addition, he already scored in the first game against Zenit. A bet on Romelu Lukaku’s goal with odds of around 2.50 is worth considering in such a situation.