Bordeaux are still looking for their first Group C point as they face a daunting trip to Zenit's St Petersburg fortress.
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Without a point from their first two UEFA Europa League Group C fixtures, Bordeaux face the onerous task of breaking their duck in St Petersburg against a Zenit team with a peerless home record in this competition.
• The Russian club equalled the UEFA Europa League record for most consecutive home games without defeat when they overcame Slavia Praha 1-0 on matchday two. They have four points from two matches, having kicked off with a 1-1 draw at FC København, while Bordeaux lost 1-2 at home to the Danish club last time out after an opening 0-1 loss at Slavia.
• There have been no previous UEFA encounters between the clubs.
• Zenit are unbeaten in five matches against French visitors to St Petersburg (W3 D2), most famously defeating Marseille 2-0 there for an away goals success in the last 16 of their victorious UEFA Cup campaign in 2007/08.
• Bordeaux are unbeaten on their last three visits to Russia, most recently drawing 0-0 at Rubin Kazan in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• Fifth in the 2017/18 Russian Premier League, Zenit's 12th successive European campaign began in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, where they staged an astonishing second-leg comeback against Dinamo Minsk in St Petersburg, winning 8-1 after extra time in response to a shock 4-0 first-leg defeat in Belarus. Their play-off victory over Molde was also a tight call, a 3-1 home win preceding a 2-1 loss in Norway.
• This is Zenit's third successive appearance in the UEFA Europa League group stage, and fourth in all. They have qualified for the knockout phase on each occasion, reaching the round of 16 last season before going out to RB Leipzig. UEFA Cup winners in 2008, they are one of six clubs in this season's group stage to have lifted the trophy.
• Zenit have never lost at home in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, winning 18 of their 20 matches in St Petersburg and all ten in the group stage. Should they avoid defeat against Bordeaux, they will set a new competition record of 21 successive home games unbeaten.
• Sixth in Ligue 1 last season, Bordeaux negotiated three qualifying ties in order to reach the UEFA Europa League proper. They did so in some style and unbeaten, winning home and away against Ventspils and Mariupol before seeing off Gent 2-0 on aggregate (0-0 away, 2-0 home) in the play-offs.
• The 1996 UEFA Cup runners-up have participated in three previous UEFA Europa League group stage campaigns, reaching the round of 16 in 2012/13 but finishing bottom of their section in both 2013/14 and 2015/16. Last season they were eliminated in the third qualifying round on away goals by Hungary's Videoton.
• Outside of the qualifying phase Les Girondins have won only once away from home in the UEFA Europa League (D4 L7), 2-1 at Club Brugge on matchday five in 2012/13. That is the only such fixture in which they have scored more than one goal, managing just five in total across the other 11 games.
Links and trivia
• Artem Dzyuba scored three of Zenit's five goals when they did the double over Lyon in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage (3-1 home, 2-0 away) – their most recent encounters with Ligue 1 opposition.
• Zenit boss Sergei Semak played for Paris Saint-Germain from 2005–06 but did not feature in any match against Bordeaux.
• This will be Zenit's 41st fixture in the UEFA Europa League proper – the most for a Russian club. They currently sit level with Rubin on 40.
• Sergei Semak took over as Zenit's head coach in May 2018 after an impressive 18-month tenure at FC Ufa that led to the club's first ever European qualification. The former Russia international midfielder had previously worked as an assistant coach at Zenit after ending his playing career there. His peak years on the field came at CSKA Moskva, where he skippered the club to Russian league and cup triumphs, though he left for Paris Saint-Germain midway through the 2004/05 season in which the Moscow club won the UEFA Cup.
• Éric Bedouet has a lengthy association with the Girondins, having first served on the club's coaching staff in the title-winning 1998/99 campaign. Widely recognised as one of the most accomplished fitness trainers in France, he also served the national team at UEFA EURO 2016. After standing in as Bordeaux's interim coach twice in 2018, following the departures of Jocelyn Gourvennec and Gus Poyet, he was confirmed as head coach on 5 September – the same day Ricardo Gomes was named as the club's new general manager.