BSC Young Boys' sparkling home form will come in for a severe test as they take on FC Zenit St Petersburg, the joint-top scorers in the UEFA Europa League group stage with 18 goals.
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BSC Young Boys' sparkling home form will come in for a severe examination in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as they take on FC Zenit St Petersburg, the joint-top scorers in the group stage with 18 goals.
• The two clubs will be meeting for the first time in UEFA club competition and this will also serve as Young Boys' introduction to Russian opposition.
• Zenit's only experience of Swiss opponents came in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup first round, when they were eliminated by Grasshopper-Club, losing 3-1 in Zurich before winning 2-1 at home.
• Young Boys have yet to lose at home in Europe this season, following up a 2-2 draw against Fenerbahçe SK with a run of four straight wins, the three most recent by two-goal margins. They have lost just once in their last dozen continental fixtures in Berne, succumbing 2-1 to Athletic Club in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
• Their away form is a different story, however, the Swiss outfit having lost their last four European away trips without notching a single goal since beating Fenerbahçe 1-0 in this season's UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. Results have been improving, though: in order, those four away losses ended 4-0, 3-0, 2-0 and 1-0.
• Since going down 2-0 at AJ Auxerre in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, Zenit have won all three of their UEFA Europa League away games, scoring three times in each of them.
• Zenit have won all five of their home fixtures in Europe this season and have gone ten matches unbeaten at Petrovski Stadion since a 2-1 loss to Real Madrid CF in the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League group stage.
• Both Young Boys and FC Basel 1893, the only other Swiss side left in UEFA club competition this season, were drawn against Russian teams in the round of 32; Basel will be taking on FC Spartak Moskva.
• Zenit's Aleksandr Bukharov was ruled offside 12 times in the group stage, more than any player in the competition.
• Zenit and PFC CSKA Moskva were the highest scoring sides in the group stage, both registering 18 goals – an average of three per game.
• Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti faced Swiss opponents when in charge at AS Roma, with his side beating Basel 3-1 at home in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup group stage.
• Young Boys right-back Alain Nef and Spartak's Serbian defender Aleksandar Luković were team-mates at Udinese Calcio in the 2008/09 season, though the former made just five appearances before being loaned out in the spring.
• The overall winners will take on the victors in the tie between FC Rubin Kazan and FC Twente in the round of 16 on 10 and 17 March, playing the first leg away from home.