Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg Champions League betting preview played on 2012-03-06
Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg

Benfica                              Champions League BETTING PREVIEW - Benfica
v Zenit St. Petersburg

Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg betting tips Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg betting bonus Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg Betting Preview by Auls | Champions League | 2012-03-06 | Champions League betting preview Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg sports betting pick
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Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg

Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg

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Champions League

2012-03-06 - Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg

A Sports Betting Preview by Auls

Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg
Football: European Champions League, Last 16 Second Leg
Tuesday 6 March 2012 - Kick Off 7:45pm
Zenit lead the tie 3-2 from the First Leg
This game is live on TV


Benfica


Benfica may have been a little disappointed to concede a goal late in their visit to Russia which leaves them with a 3-2 deficit to overcome in front of their own fans, although the positives are clearly that they have scored a couple of away goals which means even a close win should be enough to see them through to the Quarter Finals.

Since the game in Russia, things have not really gone very well for Benfica as they have given up their lead in the Portuguese domestic League to rivals Porto. A loss at the weekend to said rivals means Benfica are now trailing by 3 points in the title race as the pressure increases following early season expectations.

The team have been struggling in recent games, losing 3 of their last 4 games which all began with the defeat to Zenit in the first leg of this competition. Benfica lost their last home game, but they had won 8 in a row in all competitions at the Stadium of Light before that, although they will want to improve on their 1-2-0 record in the Champions League.

Pablo Aimar and Garay are missing out through suspension and an injury respectively. Yannick Djalo is a doubt after being injured at the weekend.


Zenit St. Petersburg


Zenit will be very happy to becoming to Portugal with a lead from the first leg and they are clearly confident that they can complete the job by earning a positive result at the Stadium of Light. It will be interesting to see how the players react to a game that has been described as the 'biggest in Zenit history'.

The team are currently leading the Russian domestic League which has just reopened again after a Winter break. That should mean the fitness of the players is a little more improved from the first leg which was their first game in a couple of months, although this will be only their 3rd game since December.

A 17 match unbeaten run bodes well for Zenit St. Petersburg, while they can also point to a 0-0 draw at Porto in the group stages earned their place in this last 16 tie. The team drew 2 of their 3 away games in the group stage, but they did concede 2 goals at both Shakhtar Donetsk and Apoel in that round of games.

Vyacheslav Malafeev and Criscito are both back in the squad after missing the first leg. Danny has been ruled out for the season and Alexander Bukharov is out.


Head to Head


This will be the first meeting between the teams in Portugal.


Prediction


I think it is hard to see how this game is going to go with any real certainty as both sides feel confident in their ability to earn the result that can gets them through to the Quarter Final.

Benfica will feel happy with the two goals they have scored from the first leg, but I think it is telling that their manager has spoken about out-scoring Zenit and not trying to play patient football that leads to a 1-0 win.

They will feel confident of their ability to get goals knowing they scored 2 in Russia as well as the fact that Zenit have conceded 4 goals in their 3 away games at the group stage of the competition.

On the other hand, Zenit earned a positive result at Porto to get through to the last 16 and they will be aware that Benfica failed to win 2 of their 3 home games in the group stage. However, they have spoken about having the ability to actually beat Benfica on merit and I don't think they will sit back and hope not to be hit with a sucker punch that puts them out on away goals.

With that in mind, I have a feeling this could be another game with goals involved so I will once again back the Overs and hope that one of the sides is chasing the game enough to open up holes around the pitch that the other can exploit.

The Pick :

Benfica 2-1 Zenit St. Petersburg


FIXED ODDS BETTING :

I'll take the Over 2.75 Goals @ 2.10 (Pinnacle)



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Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg Betting Odds guide

Fixed Odds BETS

BEN
DRAW
ZEN
BET365
1.733.605.00
BETFRED
1.673.805.50
LADBROKES
1.673.755.00
PINNACLE
1.713.925.45
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READER FEEDBACK


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Reader votes for Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg

  • Benfica : 2 votes (50%)
  • Draw / Tie : 2 votes (50%)
  • Zenit St. Petersburg : 0 votes (0%)

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Champions League betting preview for Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg | Played on 2012-03-06 | Analysis & sportsbook lines

Champions League betting preview for Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg | Played on 2012-03-06 | Analysis & sportsbook lines