Mission Champions League: A Look at Zenit St. Petersburg!

Decisive home game | RB Leipzig host the leaders of Group G | A win would take RBL to at least second place | We take a look at the Russian champions

The third matchday of the group stages is upon us! The Bulls face a second Champions League home game in a row, as they prepare to take on reigning Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg. Head Coach Sergey Semak’s team are currently first in Group G with four points. With a victory over the Russians, RBL could rise to at least second place!

After the 0-2 defeat to Olympique Lyonnais, Julian Nagelmann’s team want to perform better and take all three points in an important battle for a place in the knock-out rounds.

In our look at Zenit, we have put the reigning champions of Russia under the microscope.

Club history:

Before their league title in 2018/19, Zenit St. Petersburg have also celebrated some other successes. Zenit are six-time national champions (5x Russian champions, 1x Soviet champions) and have won four total cup competitions (3x Russian Cup, 1x Soviet Cup). They also have three Russian Supercup titles to their name.

Zenit have also tasted success on the international stage, winning the UEFA Cup in 2007/08 and the UEFA Supercup in the subsequent season.

They have a few big names in their current squad, such as Branislav Ivanovic (formerly of Chelsea) and Malcolm (formerly of Barcelona). A list of their former players also reveals some top names: Hulk, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, Axel Witsel, Claudio Marchisio, Andrey Arshavin, Pavel Pogrebnyak and Martin Skrtel have all lined up for the St Petersburg club.

This season:

Zenit are currently level on points with Lokomotiv Moscow at the top of the Russian Premier League, winning nine of their first 13 league games, taking 29 points. Furthermore, the St. Petersburg club has the best defence in the league, conceding only seven goals, and also the best offence with 27 total goals scored.

One standout performer is striker Artem Dzyuba. The Russian forward has scored eight goals and provided eight assists! He has now scored as many goals so far this season as he did in the whole of last season. Sardar Azmoun’s performances have not gone under the radar either, the Iranian has been involved in eight goals so far this season, scoring four and assisting four.

The Russians also strengthened in the summer transfer window. Here are the most important singings and sales:

Malcolm (from FC Barcelona)
Douglas Santos (from Hamburger SV)
Vyacheslav Karavaev (from Vitesse Arnhem)

Luka Djordjevic (to Lokomotiv Moscow)
Miha Mevlja (zu FK Sochi)
Emiliano Rigoni (loan to Sampdoria)


Head coach:

Sergey Semak (43 years) has been in his current role since 29th May 2018 and became Russian Champion in his first season at Zenit. As a player, he turned out for CSKA Moscow, Paris Saint-Germain, Rubin Kazan and Zenit, ending his playing career in St Petersburg.

In July 2013, he was appointed assistant coach at Zenit, a title he held until December 2016. Alongside his job in St. Petersburg, he was employed as the assistant coach of the Russia national team from August 2014 to August 2016. He accepted his first Head Coach position in December 2016, taking the helm at Russian Premier League side FC Ufa, before returning to Zenit to take on the top job in St. Petersburg in May 2018.

Last season:

Last season, Sergey Semak’s side won 20, drew four and lost six as they finished top of the table on 64 points. They had the best attack in the league, scoring a total of 57 goals.

Top goalscorers:

Sebastián Driussi - 11 goals
Serdar Azmoun - 9 goals
Artem Dzyuba - 8 goals

Most assists:

Artem Dzyuba - 12 assists
Sebastián Driussi - 8 assists


Our second Champions League home game is a must win match! Head Coach Julian Nagelsmann has already formulated a gameplan.
The boys want to perform better in their second home match of the Champions League group stages!



  • Club name:
    Futbolny Klub "Senit" Sankt-Peterburg
  • Founded in:
  • Team colours:
    Blue-white-light blue
  • Most appearances:
    Vyacheslav Malafeev (414 games)
  • Record goalscorer:
    Aleksandr Kerzhakov (149 goals)
  • Stadium:
    Gazprom Arena
    Opened in 2017 
    Capacity: 68.134 
    Pitch dimensions: 120m × 80m 
6 time
national champions of Russia

27 League goals
for Zenit so far, which is the best in the league!

Mission Champions League

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