After pipping Porto to the knockout stages of the competition, Group G runners-up Zenit St Petersburg go head-to-head with another Portuguese opponent in the Champions League last 16.
The Russian Premier League leaders go in search of their 50th win in European competition against Benfica this evening and head into the game as slight underdogs to claim victory at the Petrovsky Stadium, having been priced at 8/5 in bwin’s 3Way football betting market.
Luciano Spalletti’s side must deal with a growing injury list that has claimed the influential Portuguese playmaker Danny, but they will take comfort from their recent record at home, which reads 12 wins and seven draws in their previous 19 matches.
Benfica forward Oscar Cardozo looks an appealing bet at 6/1 to open the scoring and to notch a goal at any time at 17/10, with the Paraguayan forward finding the net in his last eight games.
Benfica head into the fixture having topped Group C after recording three wins and three draws from their six matches – including a share of the spoils at Manchester United – and can be backed at 17/10 to emerge victorious tonight, with the draw at 11/5.
Jorge Jesus’ side have an impressive record against Russian opposition in European competition with just one defeat in eight ties, and having also remained unbeaten in the league this season, they’ll be confident of claiming at least a draw this evening.
Benfica have managed to score in each of their 34 competitive matches so far this campaign, including two goals in their fixture at Old Trafford, so backing both sides to score in the match at 19/20 should be considered.
Having taken the lead in all six of their group games, a play on the Portuguese side to be winning at half-time with the scores level at fulltime at 27/2 looks a great bet, especially considering the sides recorded six stalemates between them in the previous stage.
In the goalscoring markets, Benfica forward Oscar Cardozo looks an appealing bet at 6/1 to open the scoring and to notch a goal at any time at 17/10, with the Paraguayan forward finding the net in his last eight games.
A successful £25 free bet on Cardozo to score at any time is set to return £67.50, with the free bet available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account.
Finally, of the six matches involving the Portuguese side in the Champions League knockout stages, not one has produced more than two goals, and with both sides on a good run of form, a 1-1 draw at 5/1 looks an attractive option.
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