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Three Zenit players Celtic need to worry about

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers arrives at the stadium prior to the Scottish Premier League match between Celtic and Ranger at Celtic Park on December 30, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Celtic face Russian giants Zenit St Petersburg in the UEFA Europa League round of 32.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is seen during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Celtic FC and RSC Anderlecht at Celtic Park on December 5, 2017 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Celtic will host Roberto Mancini's Zenit Saint Petersburg at Celtic Park on Thursday night in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 tie. 

The Hoops dropped into the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group, while their opponents were unbeaten during the group stage. 

Zenit have been tipped to go far in the competition so it is certainly going to be a difficult tie for Brendan Rodgers' team. Here are three players who could cause them a few problems:

Aleksandr Kokorin

Zenit's Russian forward Aleksandr Kokorin (R) challenges Real Sociedad's Spanish defender Alvaro Odriozola during the UEFA Europa League group L football match between Real Sociedad and...

Aleksandr Kokorin is Zenit's top scorer with 18 goals so far (eight coming in Europe). The Russian international is having the best season of his career.

The 26-year-old is the man Russia will be pinning their hopes on during the World Cup in the summer and he has 12 goals for his country. As well as good finishing ability, Kokorin holds the ball up well and is good at bringing others into play. 

Domenico Criscito 

Zenit captain Domenico Criscito is one of the clubs most important players. The Italian mainly plays at full-back but he can also play as a wing-back or as centre-half. He is effective defensively and going forward as he can create and score goals.

He has played 211 times for Zenit, scoring 18 goals while he also has 22 caps for Italy. His defensive team-mate Branislav Ivanovic is similar in terms of his ability both defensively and offensively so deserves a mention. 

Domenico Criscito (L) of FC Zenit Saint Petersburg and Nikolay Dimitrov of FC Ural Ekaterinburg vie for the ball during the Russian Football League match between FC Zenit St. Petersburg...

Emiliano Rigoni

Argentinian forward Emiliano Rigoni has been one of Zenit's best performers in Europe this season. He has already netted six times in the Europa League, including a hat-trick against in a 3-1 triumph over Rosenborg.

The attacking midfielder is also one of Zenit's more creative and technically gifted players. 

 

 

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