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Zenit out to avoid repeat at Atlético

Published: Sunday 1 September 2013, 9.45CET
FC Zenit began last season's group stage with a defeat in Spain so are hoping for better when they visit Club Atlético de Madrid, who have reason to be wary of Russian visitors.
Zenit out to avoid repeat at Atlético
Luciano Spalletti's Zenit suffered in Spain last season ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored26
Possession (%)45
Total attempts176
on target104
off target72
against woodwork7
Yellow cards34
Red Cards0
Fouls committed214
Fouls suffered185

Press kits

  • Match press kit (local language)
Published: Sunday 1 September 2013, 9.45CET

Zenit out to avoid repeat at Atlético

FC Zenit began last season's group stage with a defeat in Spain so are hoping for better when they visit Club Atlético de Madrid, who have reason to be wary of Russian visitors.

FC Zenit will want to avoid an unwanted case of deja vu when they kick off their UEFA Champions League Group G campaign against Club Atlético de Madrid in Spain.

• Luciano Spalletti's men visit Atlético exactly a year ago to the day since they went down 3-0 at Málaga CF, a result they never fully recovered from as they ended up finishing third in their group behind the Spanish side and AC Milan.

• Like Zenit, Atlético are in the group stage for the fourth time and have their own demons to exorcise having exited the UEFA Europa League last season after a home defeat against Russian opponents FC Rubin Kazan in the round of 32.

Match background
• Atlético have a formidable recent home record in Europe. They have won 12 of their last 13 fixtures at the Vicente Calderón in UEFA competition, the exception being their 2-0 reverse against Rubin in February. It was a result which rendered their subsequent 1-0 second-leg win in Russia insufficient and knocked Diego Simeone's UEFA Europa League holders out of the competition. Cristian Ansaldi played in both legs for Rubin.

• Rubin's visit was Atlético's first home fixture against a Russian side since a 4-3 loss to FC Spartak Moskva in the 1972/73 European Cup Winners' Cup second round. Just like last year, Atlético won the second leg but it was not enough, the 2-1 win eliminating them on away goals.

• Zenit's five trips to Spain have all ended in defeat, starting with a 2-1 loss at RC Celta de Vigo in the 2000 UEFA Intertoto Cup.

• Zenit's only previous trip to the Spanish capital came in their inaugural UEFA Champions League group stage campaign in 2008/09 when they went down 3-0 at Real Madrid CF.

• Zenit have already won twice on the road in this season's competition – beating Denmark's FC Nordsjælland 1-0 and Portugal's FC Paços de Ferreira 4-1 in the qualifying rounds – but did not fare so well on their European travels in 2012/13, losing four games out of five. Their one victory came at Milan (1-0) in the UEFA Champions League group stage last December.

Team ties
• As an FC Internazionale Milano player, Simeone won 2-1 at FC Spartak Moskva in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup semi-finals. He faced the same opponents in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League group stage, playing in a 2-1 home victory and scoring in a 1-1 draw in Moscow.

• Playing for SS Lazio, Simeone kicked off the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League group stage with a 3-0 win at an FC Shakhtar Donetsk side including Anatoliy Tymoshchuk.

• As coach of AS Roma, Spalletti recorded 2-1 home and away wins against Real Madrid in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League round of 16. In the previous season's group stage his Roma team lost 2-1 at Valencia CF but won the return 1-0.

• Cristian Rodríguez is an old team-mate of Hulk at FC Porto and was on the bench when Porto lost 3-1 at Zenit in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Hulk helped Porto eliminate Atlético in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League round of 16, then scored in a 3-0 win at Atlético in the next season's group stage. In the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League, his Porto team got past Sevilla FC and Villarreal CF en route to lifting the trophy.

• In Spain's opening UEFA EURO 2008 group game, David Villa hit a hat-trick against a Russia side that included Aleksandr Anyukov, Roman Shirokov, Konstantin Zyryanov and Vladimir Bystrov. Andrey Arshavin was also involved as Spain beat Russia again in the semi-finals, when Villa picked up an injury that ruled him out of the final.

• Shirokov was sent off in Spain when Zenit lost 2-1 at Villarreal in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

• Aleksandr Kerzhakov scored three times against Sevilla in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup. He hit both goals when Zenit beat the eventual winners 2-1 at home in the group stage, then was on target again in a 4-1 defeat in Spain when the clubs were reunited in the quarter-finals. Kerzhakov later joined Sevilla and scored eight goals in 26 Liga appearances between 2006 and 2008, winning the UEFA Cup, Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup.

• Axel Witsel's R. Standard de Liège earned a 1-0 home success against Sevilla in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage.

• Witsel and Nicolas Lombaerts are Belgium colleagues of Thibaut Courtois and Toby Alderweireld, while Danny and Tiago Mendes are Portugal team-mates.

Last updated: 13/09/13 18.57CET

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