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Zenit v Leverkusen background

Bayer 04 Leverkusen are the new leaders in Group C after a second successive win and will be seeking to make it three victories when they renew their rivalry with FC Zenit.

Giulio Donati fired Leverkusen into the lead against Zenit on matchday three
Giulio Donati fired Leverkusen into the lead against Zenit on matchday three ©AFP/Getty Images

Bayer 04 Leverkusen overtook FC Zenit with their victory on matchday three and will be looking to strengthen their hold on the Group C leadership when the sides renew acquaintance in Russia.

• Giulio Donati broke the deadlock at the BayArena, substitute Kyriakos Papadopoulos securing Leverkusen's 2-0 win three minutes after coming on. The hosts, who have a one-point advantage over AS Monaco FC in second place, had Wendell dismissed late on. 

Previous meetings
• The sides met in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup quarter-final with the Russian side triumphing 4-2 on aggregate en route to lifting the trophy. Both teams won the away legs, Dmitri Bulykin scoring the only goal in St Petersburg to give Leverkusen a measure of revenge for their 4-1 defeat in Germany. Anatoliy Tymoshchuk missed a late penalty for Zenit in the second leg.

• The lineups at the Stadion Petrovski on 10 April 2008 were:
Zenit: Malafeev, Anyukov, Shirokov, Križanac, Šírl, Denisov, Tymoshchuk, Zyryanov, Arshavin, Pogrebnyak, Fayzulin (Radimov 89).
Leverkusen: Adler, Castro, Callsen-Bracker, Haggui, Sarpei, Schwegler (Rolfes 61), Sinkiewicz, Freier (Kiessling 70), Schneider, Dum (Gekas 77), Bulykin.

• In Germany, Zenit had scored three second-half goals in 12 minutes. Andrey Arshavin opened the scoring, and Aleksandr Anyukov made it 3-1 after Stefan Kiessling had struck a first-half equaliser.

Match background

• Zenit have lost four of their seven home games against German sides, the most recent the 4-2 reverse against Borussia Dortmund which meant they exited last season's competition in the round of 16 5-4 on aggregate.

• Before 2007/08, Zenit had not defeated a German club in European competition but under Dutch coach Dick Advocaat they played five games against Bundesliga sides on their way to lifting the UEFA Cup.

• They first drew 2-2 at home to 1. FC Nürnberg in the group stage and then, after overcoming Leverkusen, drew 1-1 at FC Bayern München before a 4-0 victory at the Stadion Petrovski.

• Zenit's overall record against German sides in 15 games is W5 D3 L7.

• They won 2-0 at Benfica on matchday one and two weeks later drew 0-0 at home to Monaco. They are third with four points, one point behind Monaco and another one adrift of Leverkusen. Last season, Zenit reached the round of 16 with just six points – the lowest total in UEFA Champions League history.

• Leverkusen's only other experience of Russian opponents came against FC Spartak Moskva. The teams met in the 2000/01 UEFA Champions League first group stage, Leverkusen losing 2-0 in Moscow but winning 1-0 at home. 

• They returned to the Luzhniki Stadium in the group stage of the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, losing 2-1.

• The Werkself lost 1-0 at Monaco on matchday one but bounced back with a 3-1 win over Benfica.

Coach and player links 
• In January Zenit defeated Roger Schmidt's FC Salzburg 1-0 in a friendly in Qatar.

• Emir Spahić played for FC Lokomotiv Moskva from 2006 to 2009, scoring in a 1-0 win over Zenit on 7 October 2007.

• Spahić also played for FC Shinnik Yaroslavl, FC Torpedo Moskva and FC Anji where he was a team-mate of Oleg Shatov.

• Axel Witsel was sent off for Belgium in a FIFA 2010 World Cup qualifier against Spahić's Bosnia and Herzegovina in Zenica on 1 April 2009.

• Andrey Arshavin scored in Russia's 2-1 defeat in Dortmund on 11 October 2008 in a World Cup qualifier against Simon Rolfes' Germany. Aleksandr Anyukov also played for the visitors while Vyacheslav Malafeev was on the bench.

• Giulio Donati and Domenico Criscito were team-mates in Italy's Under-21s.

• Aleksandr Kerzhakov scored in Russia's 1-1 draw with Son Heung-Min's South Korea at the 2014 World Cup. Viktor Fayzulin and Shatov also played for Russia in the Cuiaba fixture.

Match facts

• Javi García is a yellow card away from a suspension after being booked on matchdays one and three.

• Zenit opened up a seven-point lead over second-placed PFC CSKA Moskva after defeating the capital club 1-0 away from home on Saturday, Javi García registering early on. 

• Kerzhakov scored an overhead kick as Zenit put five without reply past FC Mordovia Saransk on 26 October for their first win in four matches. Danny rounded things off with his first goal since mid-August.

• Three days later, however, a near full-strength Zenit XI squandered a two-goal lead in losing 3-2 after extra time to the Premier-Liga's bottom club, FC Arsenal Tula, in the Russian Cup round of 16.

• Including the final game of last season, André Villas-Boas's side are 13 Premier-Liga matches unbeaten.

• Wendell is suspended following his red card on matchday three.

• Leverkusen suffered their first defeat in nine games on Saturday, losing 1-0 at Hamburger SV.

• Following their victory over Zenit, Leverkusen were 1-0 home winners against FC Schalke 04 thanks to Hakan Çalhanoğlu's free-kick.

• Stefan Reinartz underwent surgery on 28 October to repair the broken right eye socket he sustained against Schalke. His replacement in that match, Tin Jedvaj, was sent off with five minutes remaining.

• Hakan was on target with another free-kick as the Werkself squeezed through to the German Cup round of 16 on 29 October by defeating fourth-tier 1. FC Magdeburg on penalties. Kyriakos Papadopoulos had made it 2-2 four minutes from the end of extra time.

• Gonzalo Castro (thigh) and Rolfes (ankle) are sidelined.