Liverpool v Zenit St Petersburg Europa League Prediction 21st February 2013February 18th, 2013 / lee
Liverpool v Zenit St Petersburg Betting Preview
The Reds go as strong favourites to get the win on Thursday night, but can they do it by a big enough margin to get through to the next round? Two goals in two second-half minutes out in Russia has really left them facing an uphill task. With Liverpool being a bit slack lately in letting results slip away from them, can they steel themselves for another big night in Europe? Will the visiting Russians have enough to hold on to their advantage?
Liverpool v Zenit St Petersburg Betting Odds at online bookmaker SkyBet
Liverpool 4/6, Draw 11/4, Zenit 4/1
Liverpool v Zenit St Petersburg Recommended Bet:
What can Liverpool, three time winners of the UEFA Cup, muster up on Thursday night? Their failure to press home advantage in the second half of the first leg, when they had better control of the game, was costly. Again, they got their foot on the ball often enough, but didn’t have the clinical finishing up front, with Luis Suarez being untypically wasteful on the night as well. The Reds suffered a double blow inside two minutes in the second half and now have a big deficit to overcome at Anfield. They crucially perhaps missed out on the chance of an away goal and now have to find three goals at least inside the ninety minutes to progress. They haven’t been in top form of late, throwing games away and they need to pull everything together on Thursday night. They not only have to throw themselves forward, but they will have be wary of getting caught out on the break.
Liverpool though have already beaten a Russian side at Anfield, taking a 1-0 win over Anzhi Makhachkala in the group stage. At home against Russian clubs, Liverpool hold a W2 D1 L1 record, with an overall head to head against Russian sides reading W5 D1 L4. Last Thursday was the first time that they had gone up against Zenit though. Liverpool’s home form in Europe is pretty good, having lost just one of their last sixteen at Anfield (a 3-2 defeat against Udinese in the group stage), and in that run they have produced eleven wins. So there are positives there and they have to be positive on the night. They have never failed to make it past this round since the UEFA Cup took on the group stage format, so they have that history on their side, but do they have enough balance to overcome the damage done in the first leg?
Zenit had the better of the first half at home, but then couldn’t match their performance in the second half. But the second half was when they grabbed their goals, so they will be a threat. In beating AC Milan 1-0 at the San Siro in the Champions League group stage this season, it snapped an eight match run in Europe without an away win. It also snapped a four match away streak without them scoring. Zenit have a W1 D0 L2 record in England and they have been on Merseyside before, losing 1-0 at Everton in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage, but that was the year that they went all the way and won the tournament. Like Liverpool, they have never been eliminated at the round of 32 in the competition. Do they have the defensive strengths to hold on to their first leg advantage? There is also the promise of away goals for them on the break.
Liverpool LDDLLW, Zenit DDWWDW
Zenit have won nine of 11 games in the Europa League
Zenit snapped an eight game away winless streak in Europe with a 1-0 win at AC Milan in the group stage
Liverpool have lost one of four home matches against Russian sides
Liverpool beaten Russian side Anzhi in the group stage this season
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