Soccer Betting Tips for Zenit St Petersburg vs. Borussia Dortmund

Steven Suarez

Monday, February 24, 2014 3:47 PM GMT

Dortmund will be out for blood after a total letdown in the Bundesliga over the weekend. Can they start off their two-leg tie with Zenit off on the right foot for our soccer picks?



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Odds Overview

Dortmund is the away favorite at roughly -115, which is going to attract a lot of people on Tuesday. Zenit is there for the taking at a price approaching +350, with a draw just over the +280 mark at most sportsbooks.

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Zenit St. Petersburg

This is an interesting situation for the Russians.

They haven't played a competitive match in close to three months, so it remains to be seen how they'll be able to handle the demands of such an important occasion. During the layoff Zenit has been playing friendlies to keep in shape, but will it be enough?

In the Russian Premier League, Zenit is currently tied with Lokomotiv Moscow for first place, with fixtures set to start up again in early March.

We know who Dortmund will be most wary of come Tuesday. Hulk is Zenit's best player and currently has nine league goals to his name. The Brazilian is a threat to score whenever he touches the ball, so the German outfit can't afford him too much time or space in the attacking third.

Danny has also been an influential figure, scoring 10 goals to go with a team-best six assists, while goalkeeper Yuri Lodigin, Axel Witsel and Nicolas Lombaerts have also been mainstays in the starting XI throughout the season. Don't forget about Andrei Arshavin either, who still remains a threat despite a disappointing campaign.

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Borussia Dortmund

A positive response is a must for Dortmund after a shock 3-0 loss at Hamburg on Saturday.

Considering there's now only four points separating second from fifth in the Bundesliga table, it was a crushing blow to BVB. It's a race for the second spot at this point, with Bayern Munich a whopping 19 points ahead of the rest of the pack.

You can't deny this team's level of quality though. With the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrik Mkhitaryan and Nuri Sahin, just to name a few, BVB is always a threat to score. Will that prove true on Tuesday?

So far this term, Dortmund has done pretty well away from home, mustering up six wins, two draws and three losses in 11 league fixtures, while posting a solid goal differential of +8. Only Bayern has scored more away goals in 2013/14.

That bodes well for this trip to what should be a hostile atmosphere in St. Petersburg. Let's see if they can respond the right way.

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Champions League Pick

There's a reason Dortmund is favored here folks.

There are a few contributing factors. The first is the most simple: Dortmund has more talent. Then you throw in the fact they'll be geared up to redeem themselves after a horrible effort against Hamburg, and you begin to understand why the soccer betting odds are what they are.

The Russian outfit has a couple stars in Hulk and Danny, but Dortmund has the better balance overall and they should be able to control possession.

What's more, Zenit hasn't played a competitive match in quite some time and friendlies just aren't the same. Dortmund should have the right sort of tempo from the opening whistle and we reckon they'll get a great result in the first leg.

Soccer Pick: Zenit St. Petersburg 1 Borussia Dortmund 2