Zenit St. Petersburg vs Juventus Preview and Expected Lineups – UCL Round 3

In a bid to maintain their positive European record after a shaky start in Serie A, Group H leaders Juventus visit St. Petersburg to play Zenit.

The Russians have faced the Bianconeri only twice before – in the 2008/09 Champions League group stages – a 1-0 win for Juventus in Turin followed by a stalemate draw at the Gazprom Arena.


Zenit arrive on the back of two successive defeats in the Russian Premier League – a brace of 2-1 losses, before which they dismantled Swedish side Malmo 4-0 here in Russia. They sit third in the group with one win and one loss apiece.

They will however look to maintain their positive record of only one loss in last five home games against Italian opposition in European competition (W2, D2, L1) – that defeat was dealt at the hands of Milan in October 2012.

The Bianconeri narrowly grabbed a 1-0 win over Jose Mourinho’s Roma outfit in their last match, and are on a five-match unbeaten run – a run in which they also ousted Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea by a 1-0 scoreline on matchday 2 of the group stage.

The Italians will be looking to win their opening three games in the competition for the first time since 2018/19 – also when Massimiliano Allegri was in charge. Moreover, they have never lost in eight previous encounters against Russian teams (W7, D1, L0), where they have scored 18 times and conceded only 3, with their only draw coming against Zenit in 2008.

The match will also mark the occasion where Zenit and Juventus defenders Yaroslav Rakitskyi and Leonardo Bonucci will mark their respective 100th appearances in the Champions League.

Previous Results

ZenitW, W, W, L, L

JuventusW, W, W, W, W

Expected Lineups and Team News


Iranian striker Sardar Azmoun returns to the starting eleven after missing the club’s last league match. Magomed Ozdoev is Zenit’s only absentee through a ligament injury.

3-4-3 – Kerzhakov; Barrios, Chistyakov, Rakitskyi; Sutormin, Kuzyaev, Wendel, Santos; Malcom, Azmoun, Claudinho


Paulo Dybala, Matthijs De Ligt and Adrien Rabiot will miss the match through injuries and Covid-19 respectively. Alvaro Morata only just returned from injury and is expected to star alongside Federico Chiesa and Moise Kean upfront.

4-3-3 – Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Chiesa, Bentancur, Locatelli, Bernardeschi; Morata, Kean

Prediction: Zenit 1-3 Juventus

Zenit’s recent run of form is worrying – something that will allow a re-energized Juventus outfit to extend their impressive continental run to three wins on the trot. The Bianconeri can be expected to outclass the Russians by a comfortable margin.