Benfica vs Zenit by Gilles
Zenit had chance on maximum group points in group stage but failed against Gent in 6th game at Gent, they lost match 2-1. Hulk was already on vacation. I watched full match of Zenit-Gent in Zenit also, and Zenit didnt impress me in both games, in my opinion Gent deserved a point in Zenit. Zenit made 2 times goal by 2 individual actions of Hulk and finished by Dzyuba and Shatov.
In 2016, Zenit played only friendly games so far. Zenit returns to competitive plays after long break, they played last competitive game against Gent in group stage CL the 9th of december, the russian competition played last game in 2015 the beginning of december and starts again at beginning of March.
I think Zenit will not repeat the performance of last year against Benfica, Zenit plays only mediocre this season, they are 6th at the moment in competition. Last year they took lead on second matchday till end. They also misses too much competitive matches in my opinion. They have dangerous players in attack like Hulk and Dzyuba, but they not create a continued pressure with team, too many times goals come from rare individual performances.
Benfica played last week against Porto at home. They lost game 1-2 but deserved more in my opinion. They maybe already were thinking about the upcoming CL game. The game against Zenit is very important for them cos they first meet in Lissabon, so they want a good first leg result. The second leg will be very hard for them. Zenit won all there home games, its a long trip from Lissabon to St Petersburg and temperatures are much lower there then in Lissabon (max 15° C vs. max 0° C). Last year they lost both games against Zenit in group stage, 0-2 in Lissabon and 1-0 in St Peterburg.
Possible line-up Zenit: Yuri Lodygin, Aleksandr Anjoekov, Ezequiel Garay, Nicolas Lombaerts, Domenico Criscito, Oleg Shatov, Javi Garcia, Danny, Axel Witsel, Hulk, Artem Dzyuba
Out: Fayzulin (knee), Malafeev (unspecified), Smolnikov (groin), Ryazantsev (unspecified)
Misses next match if booked: Domenico Criscito, Javi García, Artur Yusupov, Danny, Hulk
Possible line-up Benfica: Júlio César, André Almeida, Victor Lindelöf, Jardel, Eliseu, Pizzi, Andreas Samaris, Renato Sanches, Nicolás Gaitán, Jonas, Kostantinos Mitroglou
Out: Luisão (broken arm), Rebocho (ankle), Nuno Santos (unspecified), Fejsa (unspecified), Lisandro López (thigh)
Misses next match if booked: Luisão, Jardel, André Almeida, Gonçalo Guedes
I think Benfica will win this game, they are probably in a better form this season then Zenit, had more competitive matches in 2016 and have home advantage. My bet is on Benfica to win this match. Good luck!
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|1||Bet365||2.10||9||1-0 WON (+9.9 units)|
* Odds as of post published time and are subject to change.