RB Leipzig (@1.62) vs Zenit St Petersburg (@4.75)

Our Prediction:

RB Leipzig will win

RB Leipzig – Zenit St Petersburg Match Prediction | 23-10-2019 12:55

The Russians reversed a deficit in the last round, but their opposition have shown themselves to be quite the threat away from home. Expert Verdict: As far as two-legged knockout ties go, this match is very finely poised. Leipzig got the win they would have wanted, and Zenit got the away goal that will give them a lot of momentum for this second leg at home. Both teams will be fairly happy with the result of the first leg.

Ralph Hasenhuttl was appointed as the teams manager at the end of the 2015/2016 season and you should know that the likes of Ralf Rangnick, Achim Beierlorzer, Alexander Zorniger, Peter Pacult, Tomas Oral and Tino Vogel were in charge of the team in the past as well. Die Bullen wear white shirts and red shorts while their away kit is blue and yellow.

Zenit vs RB Leipzig Prediction

In the last round, they overcame Celtic after a poor first leg due to a great effort in the second to win 3-1 on aggregate. RB Leipzig come into this match having dropped out of the Champions League. In the last round, they upset Napoli over two legs by clinging on at home after a loss in that second leg. They won two ties just to book their place in the group, and from there they went on to advance out of a fairly tough group that included Real Sociedad, Rosenborg, and Vardar in it. This is the first year of any European involvement for them after finishing second in the Bundesliga last season, and they did fairly well in a UCL group with Besiktas, FC Porto, and a disappointing Monaco team to move on. Unlike many years recently, Zenit did not begin their European excursions in the Champions League. Instead, they have been in this competition for the entirety of the season.

The away goal in Leipzig could make all the difference here it means the visitors cant afford any slip-up, and their relative inexperience at this level makes that even more of a worry for their fans. Its a close one to call, but were plumping for Zenit to do enough to get through. Thats how finely-balanced this one is there is no consensus even among bookmakers as to who has the best chance of going through.

Domenico Criscito might have been the man that grabbed the late goal for Zenit last week to give them a much better chance of progressing from the tie, but it's another full back that should be watched closely. In addition to that, he's a great defender and a player you can count on to perform. That man is Branislav Ivanovic. He scored a massive goal for them against Celtic in the last round at home, and he has been known to score crucial goals in Europe down the years.

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Two points from a possible twelve have seen them drop from second to sixth and with a game against Bayern Munich at the weekend, they could fall further. So this competition, with an automatic Champions League spot on offer to the winner, has become very important to Leipzig fans. Since then, not much has gone right for Ralph Hassenhuttls men, at least domestically. In a league with a very cramped top half die Roten Bullen could yet miss out on Europe altogether.

If they can get a lead here, they can feel confident of defending it. Having come alive to paste Celtic 3-0 at the Krestovskyi Stadium, Zenit have managed just one goal since then, a late Domenico Criscito finish in the first leg of this tie giving them at least an away goal and something to cling to in this tie. The positive news is that their defence has been strong, with no goals conceded in the three games played at home since their winter break ended.

As this is Leipzigs debut European season the club was founded in 2009 by a soft-drinks giant and has worked its way up from the fifth tier of German football this is unsurprisingly their first meeting with Zenit. Its their first meeting with any Russian side, in fact, so all we have to go on is their European record from this season, which is patchy entering the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group, then knocking Napoli out to get here.

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With a tough away match in Russia to come, Leipzig don't have a lot of wiggle room if they have aspirations of moving on. They will need a solid, composed, display from central midfield talisman Naby Keita to move on here. The Guinea man has been a little erratic with his discipline this season, picking up several red cards. However, he is one of the most talented players in an overall sense in this tournament and picked up an assist in the first leg to help drive them to victory.

Zenit may have brushed past Celtic in the last round of the Europa League, but theyve found momentum hard to come by elsewhere. That doesnt change the fact that it seems to take teams a while to find their feet after the break. The reasons for Russias gargantuan winter break are obvious its a big country with a lot of snow.

The 3-0 win over Celtic needs to be set against the fact that Celtic pretty much always lose away in Europe. Zenits other results since returning from hiatus havent been impressive. Zenit are the side here with European pedigree they won this competition in 2008, in fact but at least on their visit to Leipzig they will start as underdogs.

RB Leipzig vs Zenit St Petersburg Prediction: Home Win

Some confidence but not that much might be taken from the fact that until that game against Leverkusen, they were unbeaten in five trips to Germany. They lost the home fixture 2-1 and the away meeting 2-0, and their overall record against German sides in Europe in unimpressive (P16 W5 D3 L8). Zenit have played German clubs, most recently in 2014-15 when they were drawn in the same Champions League group as Bayer Leverkusen.

Leipzig could well get what they need if you can go to Napoli and win 3-1 youre at least a decent team but our betting.org Zenit St Petersburg vs RB Leipzig prediction is for the Russian side to win and go through to the quarter-finals. That mix of home advantage, away goal and European experience just edges them over the line, in our estimation.