FC Zenit to play against champion


In the UEFA Europa League quarter finals the club will face FC Sevilla

In the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, was held a draw for quarter finals of the second-largest European football Cup – the UEFA Europa League. The only Russian club of this stage is FC Zenit from St. Petersburg. It will play against the defending champion of the tournament FC Sevilla.

The Europa League draw was held with one condition: due to the political situation the only Russian club Zenit should meet neither Ukrainian FC Dnipro nor FC Dynamo Kyiv. For the Russian club it was rather bad news, the Ukrainian clubs are not ranked so high as other possible opponents of FC Zenit.

As a result, Zenit that in the 1/8 return match against FC Torino with difficulty defended the advantage obtained in the first meeting, will see the defending champion FC Sevilla. In the previous stage the Spanish club knocked out Villarreal CF that has played perfect this season.

FC Sevilla that doesn’t have powerful players is a very dangerous opponent. Its head coach is Unai Emery, who is well known in Russia for the work with FC Spartak. He started coaching Sevilla last year and immediately helped the club win the Europa League and improve its positions in La Liga. In the current European Cup season FC Sevilla has lost only once, and in the play-off it defeated Villarreal CF and twice Borussia Mönchengladbach.

In the upcoming match one of the FC Zenit’s problems will be the disqualification of the club’s several key players who will not be able to take part in the first away match. Due to excess of yellow cards the club will lack such attacking players as Hulk and Danny, as well as the leading backs Domenico Criscito and Igor Smolnikov, who are very difficult to replace.

Text and pictures by Kommersant