FC Zenit St Petersburg are on target for maximum points in Group G, but visitors RSC Anderlecht need a win to boost their own chances of reaching the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
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Newly crowned Russian champions FC Zenit St Petersburg are on target for maximum points in Group G, but visitors RSC Anderlecht need a victory to boost their own chances of joining their hosts in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.
• Zenit are already through as section winners. Anderlecht cannot qualify on Matchday 5.
• A first-half Aleksandr Kerzhakov hat-trick propelled Zenit to a 3-1 victory as the sides met for the first time in Brussels on Matchday 1.
• Anderlecht's record in seven games against Russian sides reads W2 D1 L4 (W0 D1 L2 away from home).
• Zenit's five games against Belgian opponents have ended W3 D1 L1 (W2 D0 L0 at the Petrovski Stadion). As yet, no Belgian side has scored against them in Russia.
• Zenit have not played in the group stage of this competition since 2007/08, when they went on to win the UEFA Cup.
• Zenit have lost only once in eight European games this season and are on a four-match winning streak in Group G. They have not lost in nine ties at the Petrovsky Stadium since Real Madrid CF won 2-1 there in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Anderlecht have not won in three European away fixtures since a 3-1 win at The New Saints FC in this season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.
• Zenit were caught offside more times than any other side in the group stage in the first four matchdays; 19 in total.
• Hired as Zenit coach in December 2009, Luciano Spalletti promptly led the club to Russian Cup success, and has now added the national title to his haul. A lower-league midfielder in his native Italy, he was lured to AS Roma after leading Udinese Calcio to a shock fourth-placed finish in 2004/05. He won two Italian Cups in Rome, but resigned in September 2009.
• Spalletti's record in seven European games against Belgian sides with UC Sampdoria, Roma and Zenit is a rather impressive W7 D0 L0 (W3 D0 L0 at home). His sides have averaged more than three goals a game in those fixtures.
• Zenit boast Belgian talent in the form of defender Nicolas Lombaerts, who made his professional breakthrough at KAA Gent after giving up his studies to be a lawyer.
• A striker, largely for Diegem Sport, Ariël Jacobs worked with Belgium's youth teams, before assisting Guy Thys as national team boss from 1986 to 1989. He won the Belgian Cup with RAA Louviéroise in 2003, and took sole command at Anderlecht in November 2007, following a spell as Frank Vercauteren's assistant. He won his first league title with the club in 2009/10.