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Zenit close in at Hajduk

FC Zenit St. Petersburg could progress from Group G by winning at HNK Hajduk Split, with the Croatian side level on three points alongside both AEK Athens FC and RSC Anderlecht.

Zenit have been in imperious form during the group stage
Zenit have been in imperious form during the group stage ©Getty Images

Having beaten their hosts 2-0 on Matchday 3, FC Zenit St. Petersburg will look to end any lingering uncertainty over their qualification campaign with a UEFA Europa League Group G success at HNK Hajduk Split.

• After three straight wins, another victory would be enough to see Zenit through to the round of 32 while a draw would suffice if there is a winner between AEK Athens FC and RSC Anderlecht.

Previous meetings
• The sides met for the first time on Matchday 3 in what was Zenit's maiden experience of Croatian opposition.

• Hajduk have now played five games against Russian teams, with the record W1 D0 L4 (W1 D0 L1 at home).

• Recently-dismissed coach Stanko Poklepović was in charge for their first meetings with Russian opposition, as they took on FC Dinamo Moskva in the first round of the 1984/85 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup. They lost 1-0 in Moscow and 5-2 in Split, with future Dinamo, PFC CSKA Moskva and FC Dynamo Kyiv coach Valeri Gazzaev scoring a hat-trick.

Match background
• Hajduk have won all three of their European home games this season, scoring eight goals and conceding just one.

• Zenit have lost only one of their last eight games in Europe, going down 2-0 at AJ Auxerre in this season's UEFA Champions League play-offs.

• A 3-1 win at Anderlecht on Matchday 1 ended Zenit's four-game wait for a European away victory.

Team facts
• Zenit are a goal shy of conceding their 100th in UEFA club competition. This will be their 86th European game.

• Zenit have been caught offside 15 times in the first three matchdays, more than any other team in the group stage this season.

• Seven of Zenit's nine Group G goals have been scored before half-time.

• Hajduk dismissed Poklepović in the run-up to the weekend's 2-1 win against NK Hrvatski Dragovoljac. Youth coach Goran Vučević – formerly a midfielder with the club - has come in as a temporary replacement while the Split side seek a new coach, but insisted: "I will be going back to the youth teams."

• Hired for his third spell as Hajduk boss in early 2010, Poklepović played for and coached his current side's neighbours RNK Split before becoming Hajduk coach for the first time in 1984. Since then, he has led a host of clubs from the former Yugoslavia as well as the Croatia and Iran national selections, APOEL FC, Ferencvárosi TC and a clutch of Iranian outfits.

• Hired as Zenit coach in December 2009, Luciano Spalletti promptly led the club to Russian Cup success. A lower-league midfielder in his native Italy, he was lured to AS Roma after leading Udinese Calcio to a shock fourth-place finish in 2004/05. He won two Italian Cups in Rome before resigning in September 2009.