Zenit – Milan 03.10.2012
Both teams have some problems in the last period.
The situation in Zenit squad became very complicate after Alexander Kerzhakov and Igor Denisov were protesting about Hulk’s salary. They both demanded new wage conditions after they found out Hulk has a reported salary of 6.5 million USD a year. The management of the team reacted furiously and consigned the pair to the youth team. However, the things seems improved at the moment and both Kerzhakov and Denisov are in contention to return to the side, with Denisov appearing from the bench in the last match in domestic championship against Lokomotiv Moscow. That means coach Luciano Spalletti has only the midfielder Danny sidelined, but that’s not a big problem as Danny is a long-term casualty. Three more players, Axel Witsel, Sergei Semak and Tomas Hubocan will probably be fit.
Match: Zenit – Milan 18.00h
League: Champions League
Our prediction: Home Win Odds: 2.20
Milan problems are from different nature. They lost two key players after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva were sold to PSG. The coach Alegri has no adequate replacements for them and that’s why the team started to play bellow the level. Milan managed to win only two from possible seven matches in all competition. They lost three of their opening four matches in Serie A and it is the worst possible start since the season 1940/41 when they recorded such a record. The coach Alegri was under enormous pressure, even this is not his fault. Milan is in poor form and I think the problems will continue. Alexandre Pato remains sidelined, while Sulley Muntari and Mathieu Flamini are both doubtful.
I think Zenit is closer to the victory here. They have the home advantage, but even more important is that Milan is in poor form. With Kerzhakov and Denisov back in the squad, I expect Zenit to win.