Zenit coach Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed star forward Hulk will be fit to face Lyon in Wednesday’s Champions League clash, although Ezequiel Garay will be absent.
Villas-Boas’ side top Group H with maximum points from three games, while Lyon prop up the standings having drawn once and lost twice heading into the fourth matchday.
Hulk sat out of Zenit’s 0-0 draw with Mordovia on Saturday with a groin strain, but Villas-Boas has alleviated concerns he will be absent versus Lyon, though Garay is definitely sidelined.
“Hulk is ready, but Garay is out,” the Portuguese coach said on Tuesday. “We are in a good position but we want to qualify as soon as possible.”
Villas-Boas believes Lyon’s high standing in Ligue 1 – they are second after 12 matches – and poor run of results in the Champions League could combine to make them a dangerous opponent at the Stade de Gerland.
“Lyon will press high, they have nothing to lose,” the former Chelsea and Porto boss continued. “With one point we are nearly through. Lyon are on a good run in the league. For us it is a little different.
“But we are very focused on the Champions League and we expect that those positive results can have an influence on Lyon’s game.”
Victory for Zenit on the south coast of France would assure a spot in the last 16 of the Champions League.