Ahead of United's UEFA Super Cup final against Zenit St. Petersburg, we give you the lowdown on the current UEFA Cup holders...
What have they won?
Their earliest piece of silverware came in 1944, 19 years after the club's establishment, when they won the Soviet Cup. They’ve since gone on to obtain the Soviet top league and Super Cups in the 80s, the Russian Cup in 1999 and the Russian Premier League Cup in 2003. More recently they became Russian Champions in 2007. It was their performance at the City of Manchester Stadium on 14 May 2008 against Glasgow Rangers which secured their status as UEFA Cup champions and provided them with the opportunity to compete for their first Super Cup.
Which players should United be looking out for?
Their main maestro is mullet-adorning middleman Anatoliy Tymoschuk. Signed in 2007, Tymoschuk captained Zenit to a first league title in 14 years and scored seven goals in 38 games along the way. Left back Kim Dong-Jin and midfielder Lee Ho have both played alongside United’s own Ji-Sung Park for South Korea and much of Park’s national success is owed to Ho’s distribution from the middle. Midfielder Konstantin Zyryanov is also one to keep an eye on. After his impressive displays in the European Championships this summer he was named Russia’s Player of the Tournament.
What’s their current form?
Take a look at the current Russian Premier League table (they're halfway through their season) and you’ll find Zenit in sixth position. This is quite a turnaround from the start of their season when at one stage they were fifth from bottom. According to Russian football expert Jonathan Wilson: “They’ve struggled for consistency with two games a week and have been playing catch-up from all the games they postponed during the European campaign.”
When was the last time they played an English club?
Zenit met Everton in the group stages of the UEFA Cup last December. Zenit lost 1-0 to the Toffees at Goodison Park but Everton boss David Moyes was full of praise for Dick Advocaat's side, describing Zenit as "the biggest test we have faced so far."
What does the Super Cup mean to them?
Whilst for United the Super Cup may be perceived as just another trophy in an already impressive cabinet, a win against the Reds for Zenit would mean a lot more. “It would be an