Celtic assistant boss Chris Davies says that Brendan Rodgers’ experience of tackling Zenit St Petersburg while at Liverpool will stand the Bhoys in good stead on what to expect from the Russians.
The Scottish champions host Zenit on Thursday night in the first leg of their Round of 32 Europa League tie – and meeting the Russians at such a stage is not new to Davies or Rodgers.
Roberto Mancini’s side have not played a domestic game since 11th December, with the Russian league being on its marathon winter break; it will only resume in early March.
Some have been unclear on what to expect from Zenit fitness wise, but Davies says that Rodgers and himself have a good idea due to facing the Russians when at Liverpool.
“We have an insight into that”, Davies was quoted as saying by Celtic’s official site.
“At Liverpool, we played them at the same round five years ago when Brendan was the manager.
“We drew the game over the two legs 3-3, but went out on away goals.
“There was a bit of talk about their condition pre-game, but they were in very good condition”, he added.
Liverpool lost the first leg 2-0 in Russia, but won 3-1 at Anfield courtesy of goals from Luis Suarez (two) and Joe Allen; Hulk scored Zenit’s key away goal.
Zenit have been playing a raft of friendly games to keep themselves match sharp.
The Russians have taken on FC Copenhagen, Slavia Prague, Guangzhou…