Torino v Zenit preview

Giampiero Ventura gives Torino FC a 40% chance; André Villas-Boas says it is 50-50. Either way, stretching a ten-game unbeaten home run in Europe may not be enough against FC Zenit.

Zenit's Danny pursued by Torino's Omar El Kaddouri
Zenit's Danny pursued by Torino's Omar El Kaddouri ©AFP/Getty Images

Torino FC will look to put a torrid first leg behind them as they take on FC Zenit, needing a win by two goals or more to have a chance of reaching the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

What they say
Giampiero Ventura, Torino coach: "We hope to get a good result, maybe even a great result. The chances of us winning can't be more than 40%. We cannot get anything wrong because if we concede it's difficult though nothing is impossible. It's still wide open. You live for games like this. There's not one player who doesn't want to play this game."

André Villas-Boas, Zenit coach: "We're in good shape. I'd say it's still 50-50. Torino know exactly what they have to do, with their pride dented. Our attitude will not change because we don't know that even one goal means we are through – we may even need more. Torino may be more aggressive and attack-minded, and perhaps that will suit us. Even with an extra man, we struggled to find gaps [in the first leg]."

Previous meetings
• The sides met for the first time in UEFA competition in the first leg, Marco Benassi's dismissal on 28 minutes helping Zenit to record a 2-0 win. Axel Witsel (38) and Domenico Criscito (53) were the scorers.

Torino lost 2-1 on aggregate to FC Dinamo Moskva in the 1992/93 UEFA Cup second round, their only previous tie against Russian opponents. The winning goal in their 2-1 home loss to Dinamo was scored by Igor Simutenkov – who is one of André-Villas Boas's coaching assistants at Zenit. Simutenkov played in Italy with AC Reggiana (1994–98) and Bologna FC (1998–99).

Zenit's record in Italy is W1 D1 L2, those losses coming at Juventus (0-1) and Udinese Calcio (0-2).

Form guide
Torino are unbeaten in ten European home games (W7 D3) stretching back to October 1993. However, draws in their last two UEFA Europa League home fixtures do not augur well for the Zenit decider.

Zenit have won all three of their UEFA Europa League games without conceding since moving into the competition at the end of the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Torino's round of 32 success against Athletic Club was their first success in a springtime UEFA competition tie since they overcame Real Madrid CF to reach the 1991/92 UEFA Cup final – where they lost to AFC Ajax on away goals.

Zenit have not progressed beyond the last 16 of a UEFA competition since they won the UEFA Cup in 2008, beating Rangers FC 2-0 in the final. Then they overcame Olympique de Marseille in the last 16.

Trivia and links
Zenit's Italian defender Criscito played alongside's Torino's Cristian Molinaro at Juventus (2007), and was a Genoa CFC team-mate of both Cesare Bovo (2008) and Emiliano Moretti (2009–11).

Zenit's Portuguese defender Luís Neto also played in Italy, representing AC Siena in 2012/13 before moving to Russia.

Torino striker Maxi López scored ten Russian Premier League goals for FC Moskva from 2007 to 2008. He failed to score in two games against Zenit, and was on the losing side in both.

Torino are one of only three sides left in the competition who started their campaign in the third qualifying round, along with Club Brugge KV and FC Dinamo Moskva.

Zenit (2008) are one of five former UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League winners along with SSC Napoli (1989), FC Internazionale Milano (1991, 1994, 1998), Ajax (1992), and holders Sevilla FC (2006, 2007, 2014).

Torino's Kamil Glik is one of six Polish nationals left in the competition who still have the chance of a dramatic homecoming when the UEFA Europa League final takes place in Warsaw on 27 May.

Torino are one of five Italian clubs in the round of 16; only once before has one nation been represented by so many sides at this stage, West Germany having provided five contenders in the 1979/80 UEFA Cup.

The coaches
• Giampiero Ventura led Torino back to Serie A after taking charge in 2011, and is now enjoying – at the age of 67 – his first campaign in Europe. Previously a player at UC Sampdoria, he once guided US Lecce from Serie C to Serie A, and also oversaw promotion to the top tier with Cagliari Calcio as well as winning a club-record 50 Serie A points with AS Bari in 2009/10.

• Having joined FC Porto's coaching department in his teens after a debate with the club's then coach Sir Bobby Robson, Zenit's André Villas-Boas assisted José Mourinho and spent a season in charge at A. Académica de Coimbra before winning a Liga, Portuguese Cup and UEFA Europa League treble with Porto in 2010/11. He then coached Chelsea FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC, taking over at Zenit in March 2014.

• Villas-Boas (Porto 2011) is one of three coaches involved in the round of 16 who have won the UEFA Europa League since the competition took on its current incarnation, along with SSC Napoli's Rafael Benítez (Chelsea 2013) and Sevilla's Unai Emery (Sevilla 2014).

Penalty shoot-outs
Torino's record in two UEFA competition penalty shoot-outs is W0 L2 (W0 L1 at home):3-4 v Grasshopper Club Zürich (H), 1980/81 UEFA Cup third round
3-4 v Villarreal CF (A), 2003 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round

Zenit have yet to feature in a penalty shoot-out in UEFA competition.

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