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  Saturday, December 14, 2019
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Zenit St. Petersburg, Russia's only remaining contender in the 2007/2008
Zenit St. Petersburg, Russia's only remaining contender in the 2007/2008 UEFA Cup, will look to duplicate their 2006 success over French club Marseille in tonight's last-16 first leg match.

The 2005/2006 UEFA Cup saw the two sides drawn against each other at the same stage, with Zenit winning the opening match in France 1-0, before drawing the home leg 1-1.

Marseille knocked Spartak Moscow out of the competition in the previous round of the current tournament, winning 3-0 at home before losing 2-0 in the Russian capital to go through 3-2 on aggregate. Had Spartak won, Russia would be enjoying a memorable European clash between two of its leading clubs.

Zenit's Dutch manager Dick Advocaat was confident that his team would fare better against Marseille than their Moscow rivals, saying on the French club's website: "I think we will do better against Marseille than Spartak. Even though we are still preparing for the new season, we are ready for games against a side like Marseille."

The two games come at a traditionally tough time for Russian sides involved in European competitions. The Russian season, unlike in Western Europe, runs from March to November, and Zenit sorely lack match practice.

The second leg will be played in St. Petersburg on 12 March.


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