Champions League Knockout stage Preview and Predictions: Benfica vs Zenit

The business end of Champions League is about to begin. Carmine Bianco previews the Knockout Stage and it all begins with Benfica having to get past a Portuguese coach and three former players in the Zenit ranks as they bid to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in four years.

Benfica vs Zenit

How they got here:
Benfica finished 2nd in Group C behind Atletico Madrid (Spain) dropping their final game at home 2-1 to Atletico to drop out of first.

Zenit finished 1st in Group H winning their first 5 group matches before an away loss in their final game.

Previous Meetings:
Benfica and Zenit have previous met 4 times is CL play with group stage play last season providing two of those meetings and Zenit came away victorious in both. 2-0 away at Benfica and a 1-0 home win.

Previous to that was a 2 leg affair in which Zenit came away with a 3-2 home win before Benfica secured the aggregate win with a 2-0 defeat of Zenit on home ground.

Current Form:
Benfica: Since that home loss to Atletico Madrid, Benfica have gone on to win 9 of their 10 matches with a draw in the other. Note: They’ll play an equally important domestic league match at home a couple days prior with Porto who sit tied with Benfica in 2nd.

Zenit: Currently sit in 6th in the Russian Premier league which is currently on break for two months.
Zenit have played only 1 match since the match day 6 loss to Gent and that was a club friendly victory 4-1. They’ll play 2 more matches in Atlantic Cup play before facing Benfica so match fitness must be
considered.

Odds: To Advance — Zenit -119 Benfica +106

Odds: Leg 1 in Lisbon — Benfica +122 Draw +235 Zenit +300

Predictions:
The viewpoint in this corner is that although Zenit will enter this 2 legged affair with only a handful of competitive games they will have the 2nd leg at home which has been a difficult venue for visiting squads and the fact that they have traveled well this season and with some previous success in Portugal they should head home from Lisbon in good position to advance to the quarter finals.

We’ll take Zenit to advance at -119 as well as a Leg 1 draw at +235

 

*************

Carmine Bianco is offering two terrific opportunities to receive his All-Soccer All-Access packages and it begins with the entire collection of CHAMPIONS LEAGUE action. Grab his CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ALL-ACCESS package, from the Knockout Stage, through and including, the Championship Game (up to 29 matches). You receive Carmine’s official releases and his opinions on all his Champions League Soccer match plays plus as an additional bonus you will receive selective 1st Half match tips. FOUR-PLUS months of BIANCO’S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ALL-ACCESS — Was $299.00, Now $199.00

Get every soccer play, from every international league, every day, from Carmine Bianco with this LIMITED TIME All-Soccer All-Access 1-Month Special. Every play of Carmine’s, very day, for 30-days…….just $99.00. The pitch is heating up with Champions League action and season ending matches that will determine champions. Don’t miss a single match play from Carmine with this BIANCO ALL-SOCCER ALL-ACCESS picks package just $99.00 covers you for 30-big-days.

************

 

Leave a Comment