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Zenit St. Petersburg take on Belarusian champions BATE Borisov in Minsk
Zenit St. Petersburg take on Belarusian champions BATE Borisov in Minsk on Wednesday evening knowing that anything but a win will mean the end of their bid to reach the Champions League knockout stages.

After narrowly losing their first two group matches in Group H to Juventus (1-0 away) and Real Madrid (2-1 at home), Zenit were then held to a 1-1 draw by BATE in St. Petersburg on October 21, despite dominating the match for long periods and hitting the woodwork twice.

The poor run leaves Zenit bottom of the group with only one point. The first two teams go through to the knockout stages, while the third-placed side goes into the UEFA Cup. Should BATE win, even the consolation of defending their UEFA Cup crown would probably be beyond the Russian champions.

As well as taking a point from Zenit, BATE also took a shock 2-0 lead against Juventus in Minsk on September 30. However, Juventus clawed their way back into the game, Vincenzo Iaquinta scoring twice before the break to level the tie. The game finished 2-2.

Zenit beat Moscow Region side Khimki 1-0 at the weekend to keep alive their hopes of qualification for next year's Champions League.

"After the victory over Khimki we are in a great mood. How the match against the Belarusians is going to go though, I wouldn't like to say," said Zenit striker Pavel Pogrebnyak in an interview with the Komsomolskaya Pravda - Belarus paper.

"We do not think we are superior to BATE in any way," he added. "There is no danger that we won't be able to get motivated."

"We knew what we had to do a fortnight ago and we know what we have to do on Wednesday," said Zenit's Dutch coach Dick Advocaat. "If we create the same number of opportunities, I will be happy."

In the event of a Zenit win, the 2007 Russian champions and UEFA Cup holders will then have to beat Juventus at home and probably Real Madrid away in order to make progress in Europe's most prestigious club competition.

The match in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, kicks off at 9:45 p.m. local time (19:45 GMT). It will be shown live on Russia's NTV+ satellite channel.

Group H (after three games)

Juventus - 7 points

Real Madrid - 6

BATE Borisov - 2

Zenit St. Petersburg - 1


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