MX23RW : Tuesday, December 18 17:54:53
Nov 26, 2014 at 5pm UK at ​Petrovsky Stadium
ZenitZenit St Petersburg
1-0
Benfica
Danny (79')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Luisao (92')

Preview: Zenit St Petersburg vs. Benfica

Sports Mole looks ahead to Wednesday's crucial Champions League tie between Zenit St Petersburg and Benfica in Russia.

Benfica travel to Zenit St Petersburg in the Champions League on Wednesday with both teams knowing that they need to avoid defeat to keep their hopes of reaching the last 16 alive.

The two sides currently occupy the bottom two places in the Group C table, though they are only one point behind AS Monaco in second position and five points adrift of leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

It was Zenit who triumphed in the reverse fixture back in September as the Russians claimed a 2-0 victory in Portugal. However, they have only taken one point from a possible nine since that result, putting them in danger of failing to make the next round of the competition.

Benfica began their campaign with two defeats, but they have enjoyed a resurgence in recent weeks with a draw and a win in their last two outings. The visitors are also sure to be full of confidence for the match thanks to a run of four consecutive victories in all competitions.

The away side will be missing Eliseu and Silvio through injury, while Lisandro Lopez completes a two-game suspension. Zenit could be without Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who is doubt ahead of the game after picking up a knock during the international break

Zenit:

Form in Champions League: WWWDLL
Form in all competitions: WLWLLW

Possible starting lineup: Lodygin; Anyukov, Garay, Lombaerts, Criscito; Witsel, Javi Garcia; Hulk, Danny, Shatov; Kerzhakov

Benfica:

Form in Champions League: LLDW
Form in all competitions: DLWWWW

Possible starting lineup: Julio Cesar; Pereira, Luisao, Jardel, Almeida; Salvio, Perez, Samaris, Gaitan; Talisca, Derley

Sports Mole says: 1-2

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Who will win Wednesday's match in Russia?

Zenit
Benfica
Draw
Zenit
50.0%
Benfica
36.6%
Draw
13.4%
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas looks on against Fulham during their Premier League match on December 4, 2013
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Preview: Benfica vs. Zenit
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Zenit St PetersburgZenit17112426151135
2FC KrasnodarKrasnodar17103431131833
3CSKA MoscowCSKA178632381530
4Lokomotiv MoscowLokomotiv178452317628
5Spartak Moscow178452217528
6RostovRostov176651411324
7Rubin Kazan1741121513223
8OrenburgOrenburg166461715222
9Ural YekaterinburgUral176471828-1022
10Arsenal TulaArsenal Tula175662323021
11Akhmat GroznyAkhmat Grozny175661317-421
12Dynamo Moscow174851613320
13Krylia SovetovKrylia Sovetov165291022-1217
14FC UfaUfa173771218-616
15Anzhi MakhachkalaAnzhi174310925-1615
16Yenisey KrasnoyarskYenisey1724111128-1710

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