Leipzig v Zenit facts
Having lost the leadership of Group G with a home defeat on Matchday 2, Leipzig will be keen to reassert themselves as Zenit, who now occupy first place in the standings, come to Germany.
• The Bundesliga side were beaten at home by Lyon last time out having kicked off their second UEFA Champions League campaign with victory at Benfica; Zenit, who got the better of the Portuguese side in St Petersburg in their most recent fixture, have four points, level with Lyon and one more than their German rivals.
• The sides’ only past contests are also Leipzig’s only UEFA matches against a Russian club. They were 2-1 winners in the home first leg against Zenit in the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League round of 16, Timo Werner scoring the decisive goal, and progressed thanks to a 1-1 draw in St Petersburg, a Sebastián Driussi goal in first-half added time proving insufficient for Zenit.
• Werner’s double gave Leipzig three points at Benfica on Matchday 1 – their third UEFA Champions League victory in their seventh match in the competition – although they then went down 2-0 at home to Lyon last time out.
• Third in the Bundesliga last season and German Cup finalists, this is Leipzig’s third European campaign, and only their 27th match. They became the first team to make their European debut in the UEFA Champions League group stage in 2017/18, when they picked up seven points to finish third in a section including Beşiktaş, Porto and Monaco. They went on to reach the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals before losing to Marseille.
• Leipzig’s first European home game was a 1-1 draw against Monaco on Matchday 1 two years ago; also at home in that season’s group stage, they beat Porto 3-2 but lost 2-1 to Beşiktaş.
• In 2018/19 the German club came through three qualifying rounds to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage, but finished behind Salzburg and Celtic to drop out of the competition, collecting seven points from their three games.
• Leipzig have won seven of their 13 home European matches (D2 L4), although only one of the last four (D1 L2).
• Having been held 1-1 at Lyon on Matchday 1, Zenit were 3-1 winners at home to Benfica two weeks later, only their second win in their last seven European matches (D1 L4).
• Zenit are without a win in ten European away matches (D3 L7) since a 3-1 victory at Real Sociedad on Matchday 6 of the 2017/18 UEFA Europa League.
• Zenit claimed their sixth USSR/Russian league title in 2018/19, and the first since 2015; their last five triumphs have all come from 2007 onwards.
• This is the St Petersburg outfit’s seventh UEFA Champions League group campaign, and a first since 2015/16, when they reached the round of 16 for the third time.
• In 2018/19, Zenit’s 12th successive European campaign, they began in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, staging an astonishing second-leg comeback against Dinamo Minsk in St Petersburg to win 8-1 after extra time following a shock 4-0 first-leg defeat in Belarus. They went on to beat Molde in the play-offs and finish first in a group including Slavia Praha, Bordeaux and Copenhagen, beating Fenerbahçe in the round of 32 before losing home (1-3) and away (1-2) against Villarreal in the round of 16.
• That 2018 defeat at Leipzig was Zenit’s most recent away game in Germany, where they have lost on their last two visits; they were unbeaten in five successive matches on German soil (W3 D2) until a 0-2 defeat at Bayer Leverkusen in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League group stage.
Links and trivia
• Have played in Germany:
Róbert Mak (Nürnberg 2010-14)
Douglas Santos (Hamburg 2016-19)
• Christopher Nkunku made his senior debut for Paris Saint-Germain as a late substitute in a 2-0 win against Yaroslav Rakits’kyy’s Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League group stage on 8 December 2015.
• Yussuf Poulsen scored his first goal for Denmark in a 2-0 UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying win against a Serbia team captained by Branislav Ivanović on 13 June 2015.
• Patrik Schick was on target for the Czech Republic against Rakits’kyy’s Ukraine (1-2) and twice against a Slovakia team including Róbert Mak (2-1 a, 1-0 h) in the UEFA Nations League in 2018.