The first leg of the 2017/18 Europa League tie between Zenit St Petersburg and Bnei Yehuda was originally going to be played in Russia but after the draw the legs were reversed by UEFA. This gave Zenit the opportunity to try and build a lead in the away leg and they came away from the HaMoshava Stadium in Israel with a 2-0 advantage, which makes them hot favourites to qualify.
Zenit have played in European competitions for many years and their recent achievements include winning the UEFA Cup in 2007/08 and the UEFA Super Cup in 2008. Zenit have also reached the Round of 16 in the Champions League three times.
Bnei Yehuda have never reached the first-round proper of the Champions League or Europa League. Their last attempt was in 2012/13 but they lost to PAOK in the third qualifying round.
Zenit have started the season strongly under manager Roberto Mancini. They have played 3 games in the Russian Premier League, winning each of them and sit in second place behind Lokomotiv Moscow despite having the same points and goal difference.
Although they are now playing in a new stadium, Zenit’s home record in the Europa League is excellent and they will be aiming to add to it by winning this match.
Zenit are unbeaten in their previous 19 home Europa League games and have defeated some of Europe’s biggest names in the process. There have been victories over Bayern Munich, Liverpool and PSV.
Bnei Yehuda Form
The regular league season in Israel does not begin until the 18th August but Bnei Yehuda are currently involved in the Toto Cup Ligat Al. However, they lost their first match in that competition, going down 2-0 to Maccabi Haifa.
Away results in the Europa League have not been great and while Bnei Yehuda have not been embarrassed they have struggled to win matches.
There have been 2 wins in their last 8 away Europa League games, the most recent of which came at Shirak in July 2012. Since then Bnei Yehuda have lost 4-1 at PAOK and drawn 1-1 at Trencin, the latter of which was this season.
Roberto Mancini may be tempted to rotate some of his squad for this match, with qualification almost secure. With Spartak Moscow to come on Sunday, the likes of Javi Garcia, Hernani and Dimitry Poloz may get a start.
Bnei Yehuda are likely to come into this match with a similar starting XI to the first leg. Yossi Abukasis does not have many options to change things in his squad and needs to win the game.
Top Betting Tips
Zenit are overwhelming favourites to win this game and should claim the victory with plenty to spare. Ladbrokes offer 1/8 for the home victory which underlines the superiority of Zenit.
In their previous 7 home Europa League games Zenit have scored 17 goals at an average of 2.42 per match. Expect Zenit to score 2 or more goals in this game and Ladbrokes offer 8/11 for them to score over 2.5 goals.
With Zenit much the stronger team you can get 11/10 with Ladbrokes for them to win by 3 or more goals.