Zenit sits comfortably atop the Russian Premier League when they welcome Ural for an afternoon clash this Saturday. Going into this they are six points in front of nearest rival Krasnodar. Ural find themselves down in 9th place on 25 points, trailing Zenit by 22. Not only their difference in the league table speak for a home win in St. Petersburg this afternoon.
Defensively there has been a huge gap when looking at the form table for the last six matches. Zenit conceded just once in six, while Ural allowed 10 goals to slip in. When all that is said it is still a Zenit St. Petersburg side looking to avoid yet another slip. The league leaders have not started too well in 2020. They have played two matches since restarting the Russian Premier League and both matches finished goalless.
Considering both were home matches coach Sergey Semak can’t have overly joyed about leaving four points lying. Opening the year with three home matches without a win and Zenit could soon be looking over their shoulders. The Ural has opened 2020 with two away matches with their most recent one being a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Sochi.
They started the year acceptably though, opening with a 1-1 draw against heavily favoured CSKA Moscow. A result which indicates that they are able to grind out a result and Zenit should take notice. Former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic returns from suspension for the home side. He is expected to step right into the line-up. They could be missing Oleg Shatov as the midfielder had to leave training during the week. Emanuel Mammana still seems unavailable while Wilmar Barrios finds himself suspended.
Seeing that key attacker Artem Dzyba has overcome his injury, we believe that punters can find value in betting on the hosts. Firstly, we do not believe the Ural has the strength to be able to spoil Zenit St. Petersburg’s party at Saint-Petersburg Stadium. Secondly, we do not believe the home side will slip off three times on the bounce in front of their own crowd.
The price for a home win is mediocre, at best, so we are looking for Zenit to keep the Ural at bay. Zenit has kept a clean sheet five times in their last six league matches, including four home matches.