Zenit's Criscito out for Malaga clash
St. Petersburg - Zenit St. Petersburg will be without left?back Domenico Criscito for Wednesday’s crucial Champions League test against Malaga.
Zenit must beat the top?placed Spaniards to be sure of keeping a chance of advancing from Group C. Any other result would allow second?placed AC Milan to qualify with a win over Anderlecht.
Criscito, 25, was stretchered off with a knee injury in last week’s 2?1 win over FC Volga and has not recovered in time for the game, coach Luciano Spalletti said.
The Italy international misses his second Champions League game of the campaign after sitting out the opening 0?3 defeat to Malaga in Spain in September.
However, Spalletti welcomes three key players back into the fold after the Brazil star Hulk shook off a thigh problem, centre?back Nicolas Lombaerts recovered from a hamstring injury and in?form midfielder Viktor Faizulin is rid of a knee strain.
Winger Vladimir Bystrov is a doubt with a thigh injury that kept him out of Russia’s 2?2 draw with the United States last week.
Malaga lead Group C and can only fail to qualify if they lose both of their final games and all four other results go against them.
Zenit’s last game against Dynamo Moscow Saturday was called off after 36 minutes when Dynamo’s goalkeeper Anton Shunin was injured by a smoke bomb.