Zenit v Leipzig background

Leipzig looked to have taken a step towards the last eight when they raced into a two-goal lead in Germany, but Domenico Criscito's fine late free-kick means the tie is back in the balance.

Zenit's Domenico Criscito after scoring in the first leg
Zenit's Domenico Criscito after scoring in the first leg ©AFP/Getty Images

Zenit will hope that their outstanding home form in the UEFA Europa League comes to their rescue for the second successive round as they seek to overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit against European newcomers Leipzig in this last-16 tie.

• Zenit, who topped Group L in the autumn, retrieved a 1-0 first-leg defeat at Celtic in the round of 32, defeating the Scottish champions 3-0 in St Petersburg to reach the round of 16 for a record-equalling fourth time.

• Leipzig, who finished third in their UEFA Champions League group, enjoyed a remarkable UEFA Europa League debut, winning 3-1 in Naples in the first leg of the round of 32. Although defeated 2-0 at home in the return, the German club survived courtesy of the away goals rule.

Previous meetings
• Second-half strikes from Bruma and Timo Werner – the Germany striker's sixth goal in Europe this season, and first at home – looked to have given Leipzig a decisive advantage as the first leg entered its closing stages. However, on 86 minutes an exquisite free-kick from Zenit left-back Domenico Criscito gave the visitors a precious away goal to bring back to St Petersburg.

• The two clubs had never met in European competition before the first leg, Leipzig's first encounter with Russian opposition.

Highlights: Leipzig 2-1 Zenit
Highlights: Leipzig 2-1 Zenit

• Zenit's home record in eight fixtures against German teams is W2 D1 L5, with defeats in the two most recent – 2014 UEFA Champions League games against Borussia Dortmund (2-4) and Bayer Leverkusen (1-2).

• Their most celebrated home win against Bundesliga opposition occurred in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup semi-final, when they overcame Bayern München 4-0 in St Petersburg after a 1-1 draw in Munich. Dick Advocaat's side went on to win the trophy, defeating Rangers 2-0 in the final.

Form guide
• Zenit have never lost at home in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, winning 17 of their 18 matches in St Petersburg, the only exception a 2-2 draw against Sevilla in the 2014/15 quarter-finals. They have won 12 of their last 14 home games in European competition, losing two.

• Zenit have lost two of their last ten UEFA outings (W7 D1) – the 1-0 defeat at Celtic and the first leg at Leipzig. The 3-0 home win in the return leg against the Glasgow side gave the Russian club their first clean sheet in seven games, having conceded one goal in each of the previous six.

• Zenit are playing springtime European football for the eighth year in a row. This is the fifth season during that sequence in which they have participated in the UEFA Europa League knockout phase.

Bruma after opening the scoring in the first leg
Bruma after opening the scoring in the first leg©AFP/Getty Images

• The Russian side were successful at this stage of the UEFA Europa League in 2014/15, eliminating Torino 2-1 on aggregate, but failed to progress to the quarter-finals on their previous two round of 16 appearances, going out to FC Twente in 2010/11 and Basel in 2012/13. They have lost all four of their away games at this stage, failing to find the net in any of them until Criscito's late strike in Leipzig.

• Zenit finished third in last season's Russian league and reached the UEFA Europa League group stage after overcoming Bnei Yehuda in the third qualifying round and Utrecht in the play-offs – both on 2-1 aggregate margins, the latter after extra time.

• Having lost their first two European away fixtures – at Beşiktaş (0-2) and Porto (1-3) - Leipzig have won the last two, beating Monaco 4-1 in the group stage and Napoli 3-1 in the first leg of the round of 32.

• Leipzig gained automatic entry into the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League after finishing runners-up to Bundesliga champions Bayern München at the end of their debut season in Germany's top flight. They are the only club to have played their first European fixture in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Zenit have lost the away first leg in 16 previous UEFA competition ties, recovering at home to win the tie on six occasions, most recently against Celtic in this season's round of 32. When they have lost the first leg on the road by a 2-1 scoreline, they have gone through once – against Young Boys (3-1 home) in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League round of 32 – but been eliminated twice, most recently by Sevilla in that 2014/15 UEFA Europa League quarter-final (2-2 home).

Leipzig's Timo Werner celebrates his goal in the first game
Leipzig's Timo Werner celebrates his goal in the first game©AFP/Getty Images

Links and trivia
• Zenit are the top-scoring team in the competition, group stage and knockout phase combined, with 21 goals.

• Leipzig became the 204th club to compete in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final – and a record 17th from Germany – when they transferred over from the UEFA Champions League in the winter.

• Zenit are one of three Russian clubs, alongside CSKA Moskva and Lokomotiv Moskva, competing in the round of 16 – the largest representation of any nation. Last season Belgium had the most teams in both the round of 16 (three) and the quarter-finals (two). Russia has never previously boasted more than one quarter-finalist in a single campaign.

• Leipzig's Kevin Kampl is a Slovenian national team-mate of Zenit's Miha Mevlja.

• Zenit forward Dmitri Poloz scored his first international goal for Russia past Leipzig goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi in a 3-0 win against Hungary in June 2017. Igor Smolnikov, Yuri Zhirkov and Aleksandr Erokhin also played for Russia in that Budapest friendly.

• Gulácsi has played every minute of Leipzig's nine European games this season.

• Werner has scored five goals in Leipzig's last three European away fixtures – one at Porto, two at Monaco and two at Napoli.

• In August 1994, Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhüttl played for Austria in a 0-3 friendly defeat to Russia in Klagenfurt, with Igor Simutenkov, Zenit’s current assistant coach, completing the scoring from the penalty spot.

• This is Zenit's eighth match in the UEFA Europa League round of 16, equalling the competition record jointly held by Benfica and Valencia.

• Zenit's tally of six wins in this season's competition, group stage to final, is the joint highest in the competition along with Arsenal and Lyon.

• Leandro Paredes (Zenit) returns from a ban for this fixture.

• Suspended for next match if booked: Aleksandr Erokhin, Domenico Criscito, Mathías Kranevitter, Daler Kuzyaev (Zenit); Willi Orban, Marcel Sabitzer, Yussuf Poulsen, Jean-Kévin Augustin (Leipzig).

Penalty shoot-outs
• Zenit and Leipzig have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.

The coaches
• Former Italy international forward Roberto Mancini took charge of Zenit in June 2017. A Serie A and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup winner as a player with both Sampdoria and Lazio, he coached Internazionale and Manchester City to domestic league championships, and more recently claimed a Turkish Cup triumph with Galatasaray. He has won 12 domestic cups in total as a player and manager.

• Former Austrian international striker Ralph Hasenhüttl was appointed as RB Leipzig coach following their promotion to the Bundesliga in 2016, and he hit the ground running, remaining unbeaten in his first 13 league games en route to guiding the club to a runners-up spot in their debut top-flight campaign. His previous coaching posts have all been in Germany – at Unterhaching, Aalen and Ingolstadt.