Upcoming 07. 10. The 2023 match between Sochi and Zenit shows a contrast in form and recent history. Zenit, a historically stronger team with significant fan support, is in decent shape. In the last 10 matches they scored 17 points with a goal difference of +9. In contrast, Sochi is in shaky shape, having scored only 6 points in the last 10 matches with a goal difference of -7.
It is noteworthy that while Zenit has the ball in most matches and converts its chances (average goal per match 3.1), Sochi, despite almost equal ball possession, has a lower conversion rate. In the match with Orenburg, Zenit made 27 shots on goal, of which 13 were right on target. This speaks to Zenit's aggressive approach. Sochi residents are more restrained and have difficulty converting their capabilities into goals.
Previous meetings provide mixed results. Although Zenit won with a score of 7:0 in October 2022, two matches ended in a draw, and in 2021 Sochi won an unexpected victory. This suggests that Sochi, especially at home, can bring surprises.
Looking at additional metrics, Zenit's average expected goals (xG) in recent matches is superior to Sochi's, suggesting they are creating more meaningful chances. On the other hand, a higher number of yellow cards for Sochi indicates a possibly aggressive or uncoordinated defense, which is a potential weak link that Zenit can exploit.
Zenit are in impressive form, dominating their opponents both in terms of possession and scoring chances. In the last 10 matches, Zenit has scored 17 points and has a solid goal difference (+9), demonstrating its attacking power. Their aggressive style of play was evident in the fact that in the match with Orenburg they made 27 shots on goal. Sochi, on the contrary, is going through a difficult period, having scored only 6 points in 10 previous matches with a goal difference of -7. It is noteworthy that in last year’s meeting, Zenit demonstrated its superiority, winning a crushing victory with a score of 7:0. Even if we don't expect such a gap in the score this time, then given their form, attacking prowess and the fragility of Sochi's defense, a Zenit victory seems the most likely result.
Historically, meetings between these teams have produced a lot of goals, as can be seen from their previous scores. Zenit, with its attacking strategy, has every chance to improve, especially considering its recent performance. Their expected goals (xG) are consistently high, indicating they are creating significant scoring opportunities. At the same time, the higher number of yellow cards in Sochi's recent matches could indicate a fragmented or aggressive defense, which could give Zenit plenty of attacking opportunities. In addition, Sochi, despite its defensive focus, is capable of hitting back, especially when playing at home, which increases the likelihood of more than a couple of goals in this match.
Why: This option offers a good balance between odds and probability. While a Zenit win is relatively predictable, the total goals bet offers a tempting odds of 1.85, offering a higher return. Given the teams' historical encounters, their attacking strategy and recent form, a match with more than 2.5 goals is a likely outcome and offers the potential for a handsome reward.