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Standard Liège v Zenit background

FC Zenit return to R. Standard de Liège hoping to revive memories of their only previous trip, when they rounded off an aggregate victory en route to UEFA Cup glory.

Andrey Arshavin struck twice for Zenit against Standard in 2007
Andrey Arshavin struck twice for Zenit against Standard in 2007 ©Getty Images

FC Zenit have fond memories of facing R. Standard de Liège, their UEFA Champions League play-off rivals, in UEFA competition.

Previous meetings
• Dick Advocaat's Zenit eliminated Michel Preud'homme's Standard in the first round en route to winning the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, prevailing 3-0 at home and drawing 1-1 in Belgium.

• The teams for the game at the Stade Marcel Dufrasne on 4 October 2007 – in which Oguchi Onyewu was sent off after 39 minutes – were:
Standard: Aragón, Camozzato, Dante, Onyewu, Sarr, Fred (Mbokani 46), Defour, Fellaini, Toama (Dembélé 71), Witsel, De Camargo (Lukunku 78).
Zenit: Čontofalský, Anyukov, Kim Dong-jin, Lombaerts, Škrtel, Denisov (Domínguez 71), Šírl (Maximov 87), Tymoschuk, Zyryanov (Radimov 76), Arshavin, Pogrebnyak.

Form guide
• Including those previous encounters with Zenit, Standard have played four UEFA games against Russian clubs with the record W1 D1 L2 (W1 D1 L0 at home – W0 D0 L2 in Russia). They have yet to lose at home to a Russian side; however, they have yet to avoid defeat – or indeed score a goal – in Russia.

Zenit's record in eight UEFA matches against Belgian teams is W5 D1 L2 (W4 D0 L0 at home – W1 D1 L2 in Belgium). One of Zenit's two worst results in Europe came in Belgium – a 5-0 defeat at Club Brugge KV in the 1987/88 UEFA Cup.

Standard's sole UEFA Champions League group stage campaign to date was in 2009/10. Zenit are bidding to contest the group stage for the fifth time – and for a fourth in successive seasons.

Standard are without a victory in four European home games (D1 L3) since beating FC Minsk 3-1 in last year's UEFA Europa League play-offs, while they have drawn their last three home fixtures in the UEFA Champions League.

Links and trivia
Zenit midfielder Axel Witsel was playing for Standard when the clubs last met, with former team-mates Laurent Ciman, Jelle Van Damme, Mehdi Carcela-González and Igor De Camargo still with the Liege outfit. Witsel will, however, miss the first leg through suspension.

• Witsel, Zenit colleague Nicolas Lombaerts and Standard defender Ciman were on duty together with Belgium at the recent FIFA World Cup.

Standard coach Guy Luzon's only preceding experience of Russian opponents was a 4-0 home reverse for his Maccabi Petach-Tikva FC side against FC Lokomotiv Moskva in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage. Zenit boss André-Villas Boas's record in four matches against Belgian clubs reads W3 D1. His FC Porto team beat KRC Genk 7-2 on aggregate in his first European tie as a coach.

Zenit defender Ezequiel Garay and midfielder Viktor Fayzulin will make their 50th UEFA club competition appearances if they figure against Standard.