Related

Article

Champions League preview: Benfica vs Zenit

5 March 2012 08:24

Benfica must end a form slump if they are to progress from their Champions League round-of-16 tie against Zenit St Petersburg.

Jorge Jesus' men are winless in their last four matches, a poor run of form that started with the 3-2 defeat against Zenit in the first leg on February 15.

The most recent defeat was a 3-2 loss to Liga Sagres rivals Porto on Friday, and Jesus said it was important for his side to put the result behind them.

"We must move on because we are in a reasonable situation to eliminate Zenit. Let's see if the team can recover from the defeat because the players feel this one was undeserved," he told Portuguese television.

"The return of trust requires victories. In the last four matches, we drew one and lost three so we go into this Champions League match in a situation which is not easy, but this is our life."

They have slipped three points adrift of Liga Sagres leaders Porto, but have an excellent record in European matches at Estadio da Luz.

Benfica have lost just one of their last 19 European home games, winning 15 of those outings.

Paraguayan forward Oscar Cardozo tops Benfica's goal-scoring in both the league and in Europe, and he will again play a vital role after also being on the scoresheet during the first-leg loss in Russia.

Pablo Aimar will also be a danger, while his Argentine countryman Ezequiel Garay could miss the clash because of a knee injury.

For Luciano Spalletti's Zenit, Roman Shirokov - who netted a brace in the first leg - and the likes of Serbian forward Danko Lazovic and striker Aleksandr Kerzhakov will cause problems.

The visitors will be without Portuguese midfielder Danny because of a knee injury, while on-loan Arsenal attacker Andrei Arshavin is ineligible after playing for the English Premier League side earlier in the competition.

Zenit's league campaign resumed after a three-month break with a 2-2 draw against CSKA Moscow on Saturday, and how the team fare playing twice in quick succession could be decisive.

Benfica have struggled in recent times, but a must-win home clash in the Champions League shapes as a perfect opportunity to turn their fortunes around.

Sponsored links

Info

2 - 0

Zenit

W W W W W
Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
6 March 2012
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
1 - 0
Full-time
2 - 0
On aggregate
4 - 3

Goals

M. Pereira 45'+1
(assist by A. Witsel) 
1 - 0
Nélson Oliveira 90'+3
(assist by Bruno César) 
2 - 0

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
9
21
16 90+3' 90+3'
38
47
30
27

Tuesday 2 September

Monday 1 September

23:44
23:39
23:19
22:59
22:47
22:45
22:35
22:28
22:04
22:02
21:51
21:44
20:53
20:46
20:39
20:26
20:12
20:09
20:07
19:35
18:45
18:40
18:33
18:23
18:15
18:08
17:52
17:52
17:44
17:43
17:33
17:23
17:18
17:04
17:03
16:49
15:49
15:35
15:33
15:31
14:32
14:32
14:28
13:50
13:14
13:09
12:57
12:50
12:06
11:58
11:39
11:07
10:57
10:50
10:22
10:16
09:26
09:19
07:47
06:50
06:48
06:01
05:35
04:55
04:51
04:00
03:56
03:53
02:58
02:45
02:27
02:27
02:00
01:06
00:25
00:17
00:14
00:03

Sunday 31 August

23:49
23:32
23:32
23:25
23:24
23:03
22:59
22:52
22:45
22:21
21:57
21:31
20:59
20:14
20:06
20:04
20:00
19:31
18:54
18:42
18:36
18:27
18:18
18:12
18:00
17:56
17:36
17:31
17:10
17:05
17:03
17:01
16:51
16:41
16:26
16:26
15:47
14:32
14:02
13:37
13:04
13:03
11:44
11:38
11:03
10:07
09:14
07:26
06:56
05:50
05:07
04:11
04:02
02:52
01:43
00:55
00:45
00:11

Facebook