Zenit St. Petersburg vs. Malaga 2012: Luciano Spalletti expecting victory

Dmitry Korotayev

So far, Zenit St. Petersburg have underperformed in the Champions League. At home, with Malaga already qualified for the next round, they'll expect a win.

Zenit St. Petersburg sit in last place in their Champions League group, but that doesn't mean that they're out of the running for a place in the knockout stage. They likely need to win on Wednesday to keep their hopes alive, but a victory does more than just keep them in the running. It will send them into the final day of group stage play with a great chance to advance.

Meanwhile, Malaga has no incentive to field their best team in Russia. They've already qualified for the knockout stage, and probably just need a draw in one of their final two matches to secure first place. While Zenit and AC Milan enter desperation mode, the group's underdogs are sitting pretty after getting their work done early.

Zenit St. Petersburg injuries and suspensions

Out: Domenico Criscito, Aleksandar Lukovic. In doubt: Hulk, Vladimir Bystrov, Viktor Fayzulin.

Malaga injuries and suspensions

Out: Nacho Monreal, Sergio Sanchez, Julio Baptista, Carlos Kameni, Manuel Iturra, Joaquin, Javier Saviola.

Criscito is a fairly large loss for Zenit down the left flank. Of the players in doubt, Bystrov is the most likely to miss out. Expect Hulk to start and for Fayzulin to make the 18-man squad, at the very least. Iturra is suspended for Malaga, while Joaquin and Saviola are completely fit and are being rested. Monreal and Sanchez have nagging injuries and were left home.

Match Date/Time: 9 p.m. local, 12 p.m. ET

Venue: Petrovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia

TV: FOX Soccer (U.S.), Sky Sports 2 (U.K.), Sportsnet World (Canada)

Online: FOX Soccer 2 Go (U.S.)

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