Zenit St Petersburg welcomes Benfica for the second leg of their champions league 1/8 meeting over at Stadion Petrovskiy on the 9th of mars. The 1-0 Benfica victory in the first leg opens up for some great value picks and with our prediction you can take this game to the bank.
Benfica will be coming into this fixture with 4 victories and 1 defeat overall aswell as 5 victories on the road. In their latest 5 road game Benfica managed to score an astonishing 19 goals, averaging 3.5 goals/game. SL Benfica will be without Luisão and Lisandro López whom are injured aswell as Almeida and Jardel who are suspended.
Zenit St Petersburg will be coming into this fixture with 3 victories, 1 defeat and 1 draw overall aswell as 4 victories and 1 draw at home. Zenit were predicted to have bigger issues in the first leg as they had not played a professional game since early december (the first leg being in the middle of the russian winter break) and since rumors has that Hulk is upset with the coach André Villas-Boas as he interfered with a big money offer Hulk got from china, Villas-Boas has in turn declined an extension with the club which makes this his last chance to proceed even further in the champions league with the team. Zenit St Petersburg will be without Javi García and Domenico Criscito whom are both suspended aswell as Viktor Faizulin who are injured. In addition to this Artur Yusupov will be coming into the game facing a suspension.
Benfica vs Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 first leg review:
The first leg of the 1/8 fixture looked to be a scoreless endeavour even though both sides had good chances in the first half with an offside goal, Benfica later answered when Nicolas Gaitan got the ball in a nice attack but Lodygin made a text book save. The story of the game looked to be 0-0 when Domenico Criscito was booked for a second yellow card which resulted in a free kick for Benfica. A free kick that resulted in a goal for Jonas just before stoppage.
Domenico Criscito will not be the only player missing the second leg though as teammate javi Garcia and Benfica players Vieira jardel and Gomes Andre Almeida all went into the game with a yellow card and all got their second in the game.
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With the first leg of the fixture in mind as a preview we saw the scoring capabilities of both teams even though the game ended with less than two goals. For this game Zenit should be coming out on the field hungrier and ready to make a quick goal for the home crowd. As Benfica won the first leg with 1 goal it means that Zenit needs to win with 1 goal or more in order to have a chance at advancing.
The viking’s prediction for this game is a Zenit victory both in the first half and in the second. We didn’t see to full extent in the first leg what Hulk has to offer and with the pressure to score we should be seeing Zenit coming out aggressive from the first minute of the game. The over/under for this game is a bit tricky but if Benfica manages to score then consider either the over 2.5 or under 3.5 line, the smart gambler will avoid these picks for this game though.
Zenit St Petersburg – SL Benfica, 2-0 @ 9.50
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The vikings picks for this game:
Zenit St Petersburg – SL Benfica, 1/X/2 Zenit St Petersburg @ 2.00
Zenit St Petersburg – SL Benfica, Zenit St Petersburg draw no bet @ 1.20
Zenit St Petersburg to qualify @ 1.45
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