Home » Champ League, Latest » CL Match Preview: Benfica vs Zenit St Petersburg

Benfica trail Zenit St Petersburg in their UEFA Champions League last 16 showdown, but will hope two away goals play into their hands.

A 3-2 reversal on Russian soil in the first leg of their European clash means the Portuguese outfit will be playing catch-up on Tuesday.

They are, however, aware that a 1-0 win is all they need to book their place in the quarter-finals.

Benfica are confident they can get the job done in front of their own supporters, with a tricky playing surface and inclement conditions having worked against them in the opening encounter.

They have enjoyed success on home soil in recent times, going unbeaten through their last seven continental fixtures at Estadio da Luz – winning five of those games.

Jorge Jesus’ side have won only one of their last four Champions League matches, though, with that solitary victory having come against Romanian minnows Otelul Galati.

Whatever happens to Zenit in midweek, they have already written their own piece of history.

They are the first Russian club from outside Moscow to make the knockout stage of the Champions League.

They will be hoping their adventure continues into the last eight, with a six-match unbeaten run suggesting they are in good shape.

Zenit took four points off Porto during the group stages of this season’s competition, offering them hope ahead of another trip to Portugal, but they have failed to win any of their last four European games on the road.

Benfica will be without two key performers on Tuesday, with Pablo Aimar and Ezequiel Garay set to miss out.

Argentine playmaker Aimar is suspended, while centre-half Garay is nursing a knee problem.

Yannick Djalo is also absent from their 19-man squad after picking up a thigh injury in training on Saturday.

Zenit will once again be without influential Portugal international Danny.

The 28-year-old has been ruled out for the rest of the season after damaging cruciate knee ligaments.

The Russian outfit will have goalkeeper Vyacheslav Malafeev (calf) and Criscito (food poisoning) back after the pair missed the first leg, but Aleksandr Bukharov is out with a hamstring complaint.

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