Beaten at Zenit in their last fixture, time is fast running out for Bordeaux as the Russian side come to France.
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Without a point from their first three Group C fixtures, Bordeaux are in urgent need of a long-awaited UEFA Europa League victory at home to Zenit, who came from behind to defeat the French club 2-1 in St Petersburg on matchday three with goals from Russian internationals Artem Dzyuba and Daler Kuzyaev and currently top the group standings.
• The Russian side set a new UEFA Europa League record for most consecutive home games without defeat (21) with that win, having also overcome Slavia Praha 1-0 on home turf three weeks earlier. They have seven 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 on matchday two after an opening 0-1 loss at Slavia.
• Bordeaux will be out if they lose, or if they draw and Slavia win at home to København in Group C's other matchday four fixture.
• There had been no UEFA encounters between the clubs until matchday three.
• While Zenit have never lost to a Ligue 1 club at home, they have been beaten four times in six trips to France. They did, however, sample victory on their most recent visit, 2-0 at Lyon in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League group stage with Dzyuba scoring both goals.
• Bordeaux are unbeaten in four games at home to Russian opposition, winning the first three but drawing the most recent, 2-2 against Rubin Kazan in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League group stage.
• 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 without a defeat, 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.
• Bordeaux are without a UEFA Europa League group stage win in five matches on French soil (D2 L3) and have lost five of their last eight home games in the competition proper (W1 D2).
• 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's draw in Copenhagen on matchday one ended a run of four successive European away defeats, but their record on the road in the UEFA Europa League group stage is an impressive W7 D2 L1, with 27 goals scored in those ten fixtures.
Links and trivia
• Zenit boss Sergei Semak played for Paris Saint-Germain from 2005–06 but did not feature in any match against Bordeaux.
• Bordeaux have now gone 12 matches in the UEFA Europa League proper without a victory (D4 L8) – just two short of the competition record set on matchday three by Apollon Limassol. Les Girondins' last victory was 2-1 at home to another Cypriot club, APOEL, on matchday three in 2013/14.
• Zenit have scored at least once in all 21 of their UEFA Europa League group stage fixtures.
• 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.
• 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.