2. Daler Kuzyaev
Zenit’s Daler Kuzyaev is another individual who could catch the eyes of the neutral spectators against the Bianconeri. The 28-year-old was influential while running the midfield against Chelsea in the Champions League last month. Even though Zenit ended up losing the game 1-0, Kuzyaev put an end to his outing with 100% passing accuracy.
Playing at the heart of the midfield, he normally pulls the strings and dictates the flow of the game. Despite his slight frame, he’s able to wriggle past bodies and penetrate the opposing midfield and defence with utter ease. Always on the move, Daler Kuzyaev has developed into a cunning box-to-box midfielder over the years.
Like an astute mezzala, he finds passes from the midfield and then makes a dart infield in order to drag a defender out of his designated position. The move usually finishes with the galloping midfielder creating a void in the defence for other teammates to run into.
Kuzyaev has been a regular in Sergei Semak’s starting XI, having started 12 games for the Russian side thus far this campaign. The numbers showcase how much faith the manager has shown in the 28-year-old Russian.
With three assists in all competitions (per FBref.com), Kuzyaev is the second leading assist provider for Zenit. His only goal this season came from a header in the 4-0 Champions League victory against Malmo. Against Juventus, he might be dreaming of extending that tally.