Luciano Spalletti returns to Italy with an FC Zenit St Petersburg side, who travel to AC Milan aiming to secure third place in Group C and entry into the UEFA Europa League.
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Luciano Spalletti returns to Italy as his FC Zenit St Petersburg side visit AC Milan for their concluding Group C fixture looking to seal third place and entry into the UEFA Europa League.
• Zenit are currently tied on four points with RSC Anderlecht, with whom they have an identical head-to-head record although Zenit hold the edge on goal difference, and they require a better result than the Belgian champions manage at Málaga CF to make sure of their progress.
• By contrast, Milan – who inflicted Zenit's first European home defeat since 2008 when winning 3-2 in Russia in October – are already sure of second place and a fourth successive last-16 appearance.
• Milan are looking for their first home victory in Group C having posted two draws to date. Zenit have lost both away fixtures without scoring; their only UEFA Champions League victory on the road in eight attempts came at FC BATE Borisov during their 2008/09 debut campaign.
• Zenit have never won in Italy, where they suffered two defeats in 2008/09. They fell 1-0 at Juventus in their first match in the UEFA Champions League in September 2008, then lost 2-0 at Udinese Calcio in the UEFA Cup round of 16 the following spring.
• Vyacheslav Malafeev, Aleksandr Anyukov, Danny, Igor Denisov, Viktor Fayzulin, Roman Shirokov and Konstantin Zyryanov featured in one or both of those games.
• The only time Zenit avoided defeat in Italy was in a 2-2 draw at Bologna FC in the 1999/2000 UEFA Cup first round, but they still lost the tie 5-2 overall.
• Milan last hosted Russian opponents in 2002/03 when beating FC Lokomotiv Moskva 1-0 in that season's second group stage, en route to winning the trophy. Prior to that they twice faced FC Spartak Moskva at San Siro in the 1970s, earning a draw and a win.
• Spalletti and his Milan counterpart Massimiliano Allegri both played, at different times, for amateur side UC Cuoiopelli. Both from Tuscany, they were born 80km apart, in Certaldo and Livorno respectively.
• As coaches in Serie A, the pair crossed swords only in 2008/09. Spalletti's Roma beat Allegri's Cagliari Calcio 3-2 with a last-minute goal at the Stadio Olimpico and then came from two down to earn a 2-2 away draw.
• Spalletti has a record of three wins from four Serie A visits to Milan with Roma. His overall record against the Rossoneri with Roma was W5 D2 L1. Philippe Mexès was with him throughout his four years in Rome.
• With Udinese – where he was coach in 2001 and again from 2002 to 2005 – Spalletti's Serie A record against the Rossoneri was: W2 D2 L3.
• Spalletti also coached Empoli FC, UC Sampdoria, AC Venezia and AC Ancona in Italy.
• Domenico Criscito played for Genoa CFC and Juventus and was a team-mate of Marco Amelia and Stephan El Shaarawy at Genoa in 2009/10.
• Criscito has played for Italy alongside Ignazio Abate, Riccardo Montolivo, Antonio Nocerino and Giampaolo Pazzini.
• Shirokov (2) and Aleksandr Kerzhakov scored as Russia overcame Montolivo and Nocerino's Italy 3-0 in a Zurich friendly on 1 June. Denisov, Malafeev and Zyryanov also played for Russia.
• Kerzhakov was a substitute in the Sevilla FC side beaten 3-1 by Milan in the 2007 UEFA Super Cup.
• Aleksandar Luković spent four seasons with Udinese, including a loan spell at Ascoli Calcio. He played alongside Cristián Zapata in Udinese's 2008/09 tie against Zenit, appearing in the second leg.
• Sergei Semak and Mario Yepes were team-mates at Paris Saint-Germain FC from 2005 to 2006.
• Semak played in Russia's 1-0 reverse at Italy in a 1998 FIFA World Cup qualifying play-off. With PFC CSKA Moskva he lost 3-2 at Parma FC in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup first round despite scoring twice and was in the FC Rubin Kazan team beaten 2-0 by FC Internazionale Milano in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage.