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Monaco v Zenit background

AS Monaco FC have a one-point advantage over visitors FC Zenit as the second qualifying place in Group C comes down to this encounter between the sides at Stade Louis II.

Monaco midfielder Jérémy Toulalan tries to hold off Hulk on matchday two
Monaco midfielder Jérémy Toulalan tries to hold off Hulk on matchday two ©AFP/Getty Images

Second-placed AS Monaco FC have home advantage as they try to resist the challenge of third-ranked FC Zenit and earn the draw they need to qualify for the knockout rounds from UEFA Champions League Group C.

• The teams, now separated by a point, played out a goalless draw on 1 October.

Match background

• This is Monaco's sixth group stage campaign and their first since 2004/05, when they reached the round of 16. They were runners-up the previous year.

• The French side are back in European competition this season after an absence of nine years.

• Last season's Ligue 1 runners-up have had three home games against Russian opponents – all from Moscow – in European competition, losing the first but winning the other two.

• Monaco began the campaign with a 1-0 home win against Bayer 04 Leverkusen and continued to struggle for goals in the two games with SL Benfica, drawing 0-0 at home before going down 1-0 away.

• Last time out they gained their second victory, substitute Lucas Ocampos making the difference with the only goal against Leverkusen. A draw will be enough to put them through, while they will qualify as group winners with three points should Leverkusen lose.

• Zenit's only triumph in France came in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup round of 16 when an Andrey Arshavin goal gave them a 1-0 win at Olympique de Marseille. The home leg finished 1-1 with Aleksandr Kerzhakov on target. Their three other visits to France all ended in defeat.

• Zenit prevailed again against Marseille two seasons later en route to lifting the 2007/08 UEFA Cup. Arshavin scored in a 3-1 away defeat and this proved decisive when Zenit won the return 2-0 to advance on away goals.

• The Russian side are in their fifth group stage campaign. Last season they finished second in the group with six points – the lowest total for a team progressing in UEFA Champions League history – to qualify for the knockout rounds for only the second time. In the round of 16 they lost 4-2 at home to Borussia Dortmund and 5-4 overall.

• In this season's third qualifying round, Zenit beat AEL Limassol FC 3-0 at home to overturn a 1-0 away defeat. In the play-offs against R. Standard de Liège, they matched that home scoreline to complete a 4-0 aggregate win.

• The St Petersburg club won 2-0 at Benfica on matchday one but stumbled in the two games against Leverkusen, losing away (0-2) and home (1-2).

• On matchday five, Danny's goal with 11 minutes remaining ensured a 1-0 win against Benfica. 

Coach and player links
• Those who have played on the same side are:
Ricardo Carvalho, João Moutinho and Luís Neto (Portugal)
Moutinho and Hulk (FC Porto, 2010–2013)
Moutinho and Danny (Sporting Clube de Portugal, 2004/05)
Bernardo Silva and Ezequiel Garay (SL Benfica, 2012–2014)
Lacina Traoré and Oleg Shatov (FC Anji Makhachkala, 2012–2013)
Jérémy Toulalan and José Rondón (Málaga CF, 2011/12)

• Moutinho played for Porto under André Villas-Boas in 2010/11.

• Dimitar Berbatov scored twice as Bulgaria drew 2-2 in a Sofia friendly against Russia on 30 March 2004. Kerzhakov came on as a substitute.

Match facts

• Ricardo Carvalho serves a one-game ban on matchday six. Yannick Ferreira-Carrasco, Layvin Kurzawa and Jérémy Toulalan are all a booking away from suspension.

• No team has ever previously advanced from the autumn group stage after scoring two goals – as Monaco currently have – or fewer. The record is three, shared by AS Roma (2002/03) and Villarreal CF (2005/06).

• Monaco have 26 points after 17 Ligue 1 games this season, 12 fewer than at the same stage last term.

• Monaco have managed just seven wins in 22 games in all competitions this season.

• Dimitar Berbatov took his tally to three goals in two games as Monaco won 2-0 at Toulouse FC on Friday to complete their first back-to-back victories since September.

• Monaco ended a run of four Ligue 1 games without a win on 2 December as they beat RC Lens 2-0, both goals coming after Wallace was sent off ten minutes before half-time.

• Danijel Subašić kept out Pierrick Valdivia's penalty against Lens, his second spot-kick save of the season.

• Kurzawa has missed the last five games with a hamstring injury suffered while winning his first two caps for France last month. The man who has deputised for him at left-back, Elderson, limped off against Lens.

• Borja López is yet to play this season because of a knee injury but was an unused substitute on Friday.

• Domenico Criscito, Hulk and Javi García are all a yellow card away from a suspension.

• Villas-Boas's side, who won 13 in a row in August and September, have lost five of their last 11 matches.

• Ezequiel Garay was on target for the first time since April as Zenit won 4-0 at home to a Krasnodar FC side that began the weekend third on Saturday. Zenit had not scored more than once in any of their previous seven matches.

• Zenit have conceded just once in their last five games – Oleg Vlasov's surprise winner for FC Mordovia Saransk on 29 November.

• Hulk scored seven goals in August but has managed just four in 17 outings since.