SL Benfica will face Zenit St. Petersburg in a decisive match at Estadio da Luz on Tuesday night.
The Portuguese team can no longer qualify for the next stages of Champions League football. However, they have a possibility of gaining access to the knockout phase of Europa League, and that’s what they’ll try to do come Tuesday night. A win with a two goal differential sees them through, relegating Zenit to 4th place, helping Portugal as well in their ranking system. Pizzi and Carlos Vinicius are the main players for Bruno Lage’s team, and Benfica will need them playing at the highest level possible to stand a chance. Their Champions League record is not something to be proud of during this season and the one before, but playing in front of their fans could give them a slight edge for their last match in the competition.
As for Zenit, they need to win and wait for Leipzig to slip up in the other group match to advance for the Champions League next phase. They are going through a good moment right now, winners of their last five competitive matches, Zenit has a good chance here. However, in their last 11 European road trips they didn’t net a single win, something they need to reverse in order to see them through. Artem Dzyuba is the biggest threat to Benfica’s defensive players, currently with two goals in the competition. With seven games between these two teams, the finishing score never saw a draw, with Zenit winning four and Benfica three.
This should be an open match between these two teams since they need certain results to qualify for either the Champions League or Europa League, so expect some goals.
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