Zenit will seal progress from Group C with another home win, while København can ill afford a defeat in St Petersburg.
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Zenit boast a formidable UEFA Europa League home record and yet another win in St Petersburg for the Group C leaders, this time against FC København, will clinch the home side's place in the round of 32 with a game to spare. Defeat for the visitors could end their hopes of further progress.
• Zenit are unbeaten in their four group games, having won twice at home and drawn twice away, most recently at Bordeaux (1-1). The 2-1 win against the same opponents on matchday three was their 21st successive home fixture in the UEFA Europa League proper without defeat, a new competition record.
• København are three points in arrears of Zenit in third place, their one victory having come at Bordeaux on matcdhay two (2-1). They drew 0-0 away to Slavia Praha last time out, having lost 0-1 at home to the Czech side a fortnight earlier.
• The clubs' first ever UEFA competition fixture, on matchday one, ended 1-1 in Copenhagen, Pieros Sotiriou equalising for the home side after Róbert Mak had given Zenit a half-time lead. That draw means both clubs still have positive all-time records against opposition from the other's country, with Zenit now undefeated in five games against Danish teams (W3 D2) including victories in both home fixtures, and FCK boasting three wins and three draws in eight games versus Russian opposition.
• The Danish side have, however, lost their last two matches in Russia, most recently 2-1 at Lokomotiv Moskva on matchday five of last season's UEFA Europa League.
• 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 previous 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 19 of their 21 matches in St Petersburg and all 11 in the group stage.
• FCK were dethroned as Danish champions last season, missing out on a third successive title and ensuring an 18th successive European campaign only after a post-season play-off win. They are one of only four clubs to have reached this season's UEFA Europa League group stage after beginning their campaign in the first qualifying round, the other three being Apollon Limassol, Rangers and Sarpsborg. A penalty shoot-out win took them past Atalanta after two goalless draws in the play-offs.
• The Danish club are taking part in a sixth UEFA Europa League group stage and have progressed twice before, most recently last season when they lost in the round of 32 to eventual winners Atlético Madrid (1-4 home, 0-1 away). They had gone a round further in 2016/17 after crossing over from the UEFA Champions League group stage.
• København have won four and drawn two of their six away games in this European campaign, conceding only two goals in the process. The 2-1 success at Bordeaux on matchday two nevertheless ended a run of five away fixtures in the UEFA Europa League proper without a win (D2 L3).
Links and trivia
• Mak and FCK's Ján Greguš are team-mates with Slovakia.
• Both clubs play in stadiums that will host matches at UEFA EURO 2020, including three each in Group B.
• Zenit are seeking to win their UEFA Europa League group for the third successive season – a feat previously achieved by only two clubs, PSV Eindhoven and Sporting CP, who both recorded their hat-trick in the first three seasons of the competition (2009/10–2011/12).
• Zenit have scored at least once in all 22 of their UEFA Europa League group stage fixtures, registering 57 goals in total.
• This is Ståle Solbakken's 31st match as FCK coach in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final. Only three other coaches have taken charge of more games in the competition with one club – Unai Emery (Sevilla, 39), Jorge Jesus (Benfica, 38) and Kurban Berdyev (Rubin, 32).
• 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.
• Solbakken's second coaching tenure at København began in 2013. He has won seven Danish titles in charge of FCK, five of those in his first spell from 2006 to 2011. The former Norway midfielder won 58 caps and scored nine goals for his country, appearing at both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000, and had short spells coaching in Germany (with Köln) and England (with Wolves) in between his two lengthy stints in the Danish capital.