Champions League Group H: Deadly Dzyuba to take Zenit past Lyon
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | October 19, 2015
Zenit St Petersburg v Lyon
- Champions League Group H
- Tuesday, October 20th
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST
- Petrovsky Stadium, St Petersburg
- Live on BT Sport Extra 6
Can Dzyuba score for sixth successive game?
Russia striker Artem Dzyuba has found the net in each of his last five outings for Andre Villas-Boas’ Zenit St Petersburg, and now has out-of-form Lyon in his sharpshooter’s sights.
Champions League Group H has proved tough for the Kids upon their return to Europe’s elite club competition and they have picked just a single point from two pool outings so far.
Their defence, containing former Manchester United full back Rafael da Silva, must try to contain deadly Dzyuba, who has grabbed the opener in two of his last three home appearances. Coral thus make the Russian marksman 5/1 to score first here.
AVB’s attack also has Hulk
Group leaders Zenit, odds-on 20/23 favourites for victory in front of their own fans, are far from being a one team wonder, though. To supplement Dzyuba’s dozen strikes in 18 outings for club and country this term, Brazil forward Hulk has eight in 14 fixtures for the Russians.
Having played under Villas-Boas previously at Porto, nobody else gets as much out of this physical specimen. A repeat or better of Hulks’ brace in the Champions League group opener away to Valencia is a 4/1 shot.
Another scorer shout is attacking midfielder Oleg Shatov (15/8 anytime), who has six in as many matches for Zenit, who are 11/5 chances to win to nil.
Lyon lacking form without Fekir
Travelling team Lyon are substantial 16/5 outsiders because of one win in four, and those who expected the Kids to kick on from their title challenge last term have been left disappointed. Spirits have been low since highly-rated attacker Nabil Fekir sustained a serious knee injury.
Even a draw at 5/2 seems remote here. St Petersburg will have their partisan fans firmly behind AVB’s boys, and Lyon could only manage a point at 10-man Monaco last time out. Alexandre Lacazette has been nothing like as prolific, but remains the Kids’ key threat at 7/4 anytime.
Diminutive playmaker Mathieu Valbuena has experience of Russian football, however, after spending last season at Dynamo Moscow and scored in their colours at the Petrovsky Stadium. He is a 4/1 anytime chance, but likely to find Villas-Boas’ side too physical in the engine room to afford him much space here.