Munich - Kevin Kuranyi spent close to a decade playing in the Bundesliga for VfB Stuttgart and FC Schalke 04, scoring over 100 league goals and also making 52 appearances for the German national team.

Now the 31-year-old plies his trade in Russia with FC Dinamo Moskva and he explained exclusively to why he is tipping Borussia Dortmund to overcome FC Zenit in the two sides' UEFA Champions League last 16 tie. How will Dortmund need to approach this game against Zenit in the Champions League?

Kevin Kuranyi: Zenit have a strong squad of players, who are very well-drilled tactically and you can tell that their coach [Luciano Spalletti] is Italian. In the last few seasons they’ve really developed and also invested a lot in their team. It won’t be easy for Dortmund. Do they have any weaknesses in their team?

Kuranyi: At first glance not really, but there may be a few. At the beginning of the season they lost Igor Denisov who was an important player. They also rarely reach their potential or play at 100 per cent. What are their strengths?

Kuranyi: They have an unbelievable squad of players with some star names thrown in there. They have a lot of options in attack at the moment, they break at pace and only need three or four passes to get into a shooting position. On their day they can beat anybody. In what areas do you think Dortmund are stronger?

Kuranyi: That’s not easy to say. Dortmund have shown in the last couple of years just how good a footballing side they are. If they can reproduce a performance like those we’ve seen, then they’ll be very hard to stop and they’d be my favourites to go through. Zenit’s stadium is partially closed off for the game. Will that be an advantage to BVB?

Kuranyi: It’s definitely not a disadvantage for Dortmund to have less home fans in the stadium, although it’s tough to say how much influence that will have. What about the fact that Zenit are in the middle of their winter break?

Kuranyi: That is a huge advantage for Dortmund. Zenit are still preparing for the season to restart and they'll almost have to shock themselves out of that. BVB are back into the groove in the Bundesliga, the players are ready and they’ll have some rhythm. Zenit boast Brazilian international in Hulk in their frontline, as well as Russia striker Alexander Kerzhakov, two players that Dortmund will have to keep a close eye on…

Kuranyi: That’s right, they’re both outstanding players. That's why the club paid a lot of money for Hulk and Kerzhakov is a legend here in Russia. Dortmund will have to shackle them but they probably know that themselves. Zenit also have Jose Salomon Redondon and Danny, who’s a very dangerous goalscoring midfielder. So it won’t be easy at all. What is your tip for this tie?

Kuranyi: I think Dortmund have the edge. They’re finding their rhythm again, whereas this game could catch Zenit unawares.

Interview by Oliver Trust