Basel vs Zenit

March 6, 2013
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

High-flying Basel hope to beat another top European side at their St Jakob Park and edge closer to Europa League quarter-finals, but beating Zenit will be no easy task. The Russians eliminated Liverpool in the previous round and will fancy their chances against the Swiss Super League champions.

Basel continue to impress

Basel have become regular in group stages of top European competitions over the last few years and they even managed to reach Champions League knockout stages last term. They were eliminated from Europe’s top competition in qualifying stages this term, losing both matches to CFR Cluj, but they have since largely impressed in Europa League. The Swiss champions qualified from what was a very evenly matched group, finishing behind Genk but ahead of Sporting Lisbon and Videoton. Murat Yakin’s side then went on to eliminate very good Dnipro side in the first knockout stage and they now have plenty of reason for optimism ahead of the Zenit clash. Having beaten Manchester United and Bayern Munich at home last term, and Sporting, Videoton and Dnipro this season, Basel can be trusted to produce another impressive showing at home and maybe even create an advantage before the return leg.

Boss Murat Yakin has no fresh injury worries, meaning he is expected to field a similar side to the one that beat Servette at the weekend. Fabian Frei, however, is suspended after he was sent off at Dnipro.

Narrow escape against Liverpool

Europa League knockout stages always come at a bad time for Russian clubs seeing they have to play two of three European games before their domestic season returns, so considering the circumstances, Zenit were certainly happy to eliminate Liverpool on away goals, even if their showings in the two games were far from impressive. Luciano Spalletti and his men have since had two full weeks to prepare for the clash against Basel, while recording a 1-0 win in a dress rehearsal against Siena, courtesy of improving Hulk. The victory came at a cost as full-back Domenico Criscito picked up a new injury, but the team, nonetheless, stepped up their preparations for the second part of the domestic season. Zenit may not have impressed on European travels this season, but they are now showing signs of improvement and they attack-minded style should guarantee us an exciting match in Basel.

Domenico Crsicito, Konstantin Zyryanov and Vladimir Bystrov are all unavailable for the Basel clash.


With Basel doing extremely well at home and Zenit slowly raising their form and fitness levels, there is every chance we will see a high-scoring match at St Jakob Park. Both sides will be looking to create an advantage ahead of the return leg and that should make for quite a few goals.

Top pick: Over 2.5 goals   2.10 (11/10) @ BetVictor

Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score   1.83 (5/6) @ Stan James

Alternative pick 2: Basel Draw no bet   2.10 (11/10) @ Paddy Power

As Seen on TV – World’s Finest Live Casino!

William Hill just rolled out their new high quality live casino room. Every new player at William Hill Live Casino can earn a bonus of £25. Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Sports Roulette & meet SEXY Dealers.

We Highly Recommend These Places
Share your Opinion!