Zenit are the form team in the UEFA Europa League group stage this season and can confirm their progress with two games to spare when they welcome Dundalk.
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Zenit have made a storming start in UEFA Europa League Group D and will be certain of a place in the round of 32 if they avoid defeat against Irish champions Dundalk.
• Only seven games have been played between Russian and Irish sides in UEFA club competition, with the Russians winning six to the Irish representatives' one.
• Dublin outfit Shamrock Rovers lost 3-0 at home and 4-1 away to Rubin Kazan in their pioneering 2011/12 UEFA Europa League campaign.
• Zenit, Shakhtar Donetsk and Schalke come into matchday four with nine points.
• Zenit are the group stage's top scorers with 11 goals – an average of 3.67 per game.
• Zenit are 15 home matches unbeaten in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League (W13 D2) since a 1-0 quarter-final defeat by Bayer Leverkusen in April 2008. They have never lost a UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League group stage home fixture (W7 D3).
• Dundalk have not won in four European away games this term, though three of those fixtures ended in creditable draws.
• UEFA Cup winners in 2008, Zenit have progressed in three of their four previous UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group campaigns. In 2010/11 they won all six matches.
• Dundalk are making their UEFA group stage debut. The lone Irish side to have previously graced a UEFA Europa League group stage were Shamrock Rovers, who lost all six of their fixtures in 2011/12. Dundalk were thus the first Irish side to draw, and then win, a UEFA group stage match at this level.
Links and trivia
• The journey from Dundalk to St Petersburg is about 2,300km.
• This will be Zenit's 150th UEFA club competition game; the previous 149 ended W77 D28 L44.
• Zenit boast two of the group stage's three-goal top scorers in Giuliano and Aleksandar Kokorin. Giuliano leads the golden boot race since he has the most assists: four.
• Dundalk clinched a third consecutive Irish title on 23 October, with a 2-1 win against Bohemians guaranteeing them top spot with two games to spare. They will secure a second successive double if they beat Cork City in the Irish Cup final on 6 November.
• Dundalk defender Brian Gartland turns 30 the day after the match.
• Mircea Lucescu took charge of Zenit this summer, the 71-year-old Romanian ending a 12-year spell at Shakhtar in which he picked up eight Ukrainian titles and the 2008/09 UEFA Cup. He previously won Turkish championships with Beşiktaş and Galatasaray.
• Lucescu is the most experienced coach in the 2016/17 competition; this will be his 218th UEFA club fixture.
• Dundalk boss Stephen Kenny started his managerial career with Longford Town, aged 27, and landed a league title with Bohemians in 2002/03, aged 32. Hired by Dundalk in 2013, he steered the club to Irish championships in 2014 and 2015.