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Benfica - Zenit 16 Feb

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    Benfica - Zenit 16 Feb

    2.10 3.28 3.68

    #2
    BTTS Yes

    Comment


      #3
      Benfica are coming off a home defeat to Porto, that’s bound to ratchet up the pressure even further as the top of the Liga slips away. Zenit are a very tough call: the first half of the season hasn’t been great, but they haven’t actually played a competitive game since December because of the Russian break. I’d expect a tight game, safety-first for both and ultimately 3.2 on the draw with...

      Full prediction: https://bookmaker-ratings.com/tips/b...is-prediction/

      Comment


        #4
        The same main accent mentioned in the thread of the other Russian club which plays in Tuesday night (Loko Moscow in Istanbul), main difficulty for Zenit comes from the lack of competitive football in the last more from two months. However, main advantage they have comes from fact that half of the main squad is very experienced in Portuguese football and three of the key players in defence and midfield are even former Benfica players - Garay, Witsel and Javi Garcia are all linked with Benfica's jersey, while Hulk, Danny and Luis Neto are experienced in Portuguese football. Not to mention about André Villas-Boas.
        Benfica's victorious streak was finally ended after 12 wins and only one draw, "The Eagles" were stopped from Porto in one from the biggest games in Portugal. Now Rui Vitoria's men must bounce back and this must happen quickly, on time.
        Both teams know themselves quite well as they had two Champions League meetings in the last 5 editions and one from them was exactly at the same stage - Benfica reached the quarter-finals in season 2011-2012.
        Four years later I believe that the game looks very unpredictable and even despite the home advantage, lack of match practice in the Russian side, I still think that Zenit owns some great players and the squad is full with quality, as they proved that in the group stage. Benfica may suffer from a real headache if Lisandro López misses that game as well, while captain Luisao will surely miss it. We saw that this can be a trouble when the team plays against quality teams like Porto, and we expect another game with more than two goals at "da Luz”.

        More details, possible squads and facts - detailed review for those who are interested in that game: Benfica vs Zenit St. Petersburg

        Pick: Over 2.25 Goals
        Odds: 2.03 @ 18Bet
        Stake: (6/10)

        Comment


          #5
          The odds look very interesting. I don't think the hosts should actually be the favorites, and here's some factors which I think are relevant:

          Zenit has better players than Benfica. Over the previous several years Zenit has been signing quality players thanks to a flow of money coming to the club from their big sponsor Gazprom. Benfica has been doing completely the opposite, they have been continously selling their best players over the years. Now Zenit actually has some of Benfica's best players of the past, namely Garay, Javi Garcia, and Witsel. Playing against former club typically gives players additional motivation so I expect these three to do particularly well in the familiar environment of the Da Luz stadium. Benfica is a solid side but in terms of quality of players I think Zenit is better, with their only problematic position being the goalkeeper.

          Zenit has Hulk. Benfica can't boast having a player of such quality, who on a good day can decide a game singlehandedly. This season the Brazilian has also established a good partnership with Zenit's big forward Dzyuba and collected a lot of assists, somewhat uncharacteristically for him. Hulk had played in Portugal for Porto in the past and might get additional motivation from facing the old rivals, too. It's true that he's inconsistent and can disappoint on a bad day, but I find it generally a good strategy to go against the odds when Zenit and Hulk are involved -- they can lose unexpectedly, but can also beat almost any team. Benfica doesn't have any big stars; they do have future stars maybe, for example a couple of very promising youngsters in Renato Sanches and Gonsalo Guedes, but both are only 18 and not experienced enough for the high level of the CL playoffs.

          Zenit coach Villas-Boas is Portugese. He knows Portugese football in general and Benfica in particular very well, probably better than his counterpart knows about Zenit. The two teams with their respective Portugese coaches play in similar style and there won't be any tactical surprises in this fixture. Without some tactical revelations though the hosts might find it difficult to beat Zenit assuming the Petersburgers have players who are stronger individually. In addition, Zenit has better defense than Benfica. Speaking of defense, for the Tuesday's match the hosts will miss their defensive stallwart and captain Luisao who is injured (a long-term absentee).

          I watched a couple of Benfica games back in December after they had been drawn to face Zenit. My immediate reaction was "how did this team manage to qualify for the CL playoffs?!" The games I watched were 0-0 versus Madeira, and 1-0 versus Guimaraes. To me, Benfica looked rather clueless in attack, and in the second match Guimaraes was actually the better side and didn't deserve to lose; thier coach Sergio Conceicao had all the reasons to be unhappy with the refereeing, his team played quite well while I can't say the same about Benfica. I know that Benfica had improved since then and achieved good results in January by extending their winning streak to 11 matches in all competitions. Impressive result, but it only proves they are good at beating weaker opposition. Benfica are an attacking-minded team with vulnerable defense. They have sufficient power upfront to overcome most teams in the domestic league but playing against stronger teams is a different story; last Friday's clash with Porto serves as an example and Benfica indeed lost 1-2 in the Classico on home soil. I won't be surprised if I see a similar result on Tuesday.

          This is Zenit's first match after a 2-month winter break and this may be the only factor that can potentially work against them. However Zenit didn't have problem beating PSV away in the first match of last year. A year before that they lost to Dortmund 2-4 at home in the first game, but that game involved a freak start when Zenit found themselves 0-2 down after just 4 minutes of play so that result had to be considered more of an accident rather than bad football by Zenit. I don't believe that the long winter break will pose a big problem for the visitors.

          Zenit players have particular motivation to do well in the Champions League. The domestic campaign this season has been a disaster so far, and things in the domestic league now look broken beyond repair. Realistically I see no chance for Zenit to win the title this year. Coach Villas-Boas will be leaving in June, and some of the players will follow. It is important for the players to showcase themselves at the European stage this spring. There was a mood in the team last fall to "achieve something" in Europe and couple of players actually conceded in interviews that they were giving priority to the Champions League matches over the Russian league; I see no reason why they would chsange their attitude now, so they will come out fully motivated. Zenit has been doing reasonably well in the away fixtures in the CL in the past, beating Lyon, Valencia, Benfica, Porto, Dortmund, and Milan in recent years.

          The two teams met 4 times in the CL in the last 4 years, Zenit came out winners 3 times with Benfica winning once, however the Lisbon side eliminated Zenit in the 2011-12 CL playoffs. Zenit won two of the more recent meetings at the last season's group stage.

          As for Zenit team news: the only notable absence is the attacking right back Smolnikov who is injured. Initially he was expected to miss a couple of months but his recovery went faster than expected and he'll be ready to play in about a week's time. An experienced Russian international Zhirkov has been brought in as a backup for the full backs Anyukov and Criscito. Other acquisitions in the winter transfer window were Brazilian central midfielder Mauricio and Russian international forward Kokorin. None of the three new players are expected to start against Benfica though. Villas-Boas is very conservative when it comes to changing the starting lineup, and I expect to see all the familiar faces in the first match of 2016, like: Lodygin - Anyukov, Garay, Lombaerts, Criscito - Witsel, Javi Garcia, Danny - Shatov, Dzyuba, Hulk (this also happens to be the 11 players who started in Zenit's last preparational match versus Orebro).

          I think Zenit should be viewed as favorites and see value in taking Zenit straight win at these amazing odds (3.66 at marathonbet). Zenit DNB is available at 2.625

          Good luck!

          Comment


            #6
            Benfica against Zenit are one of the few balanced games in the Round of 16. The one thing going against the Russians is in fact, it’s their first official game since December, so it could take a while for them to feel fit again in a competitive match. Although, Benfica aren’t really having a great time after losing the Superclasico game at home on Friday against Porto. So it could be an equal start: in such a levelled game in fact to concede one goal, could mean to be put in danger for the qualification. That’s why we go on a draw at half time at 1.90 with...

            Full prediction: https://bookmaker-ratings.com/tips/b...is-prediction/

            Comment


              #7
              SL Benfica v Zenit
              SL Benfica: López (14/1 d) Fejsa (11/0 m), Luisao (9/0 d), Santos (1/0 f)
              Zenit: Malafeev (0/0 g), Fayzulin (5/0 m), Ryazantsev (11/0 m), Smolnikov (15/3 d, probably out)

              Daily updated injuries and suspensions information from more then 50 football leagues and competitions at: www.injuriesandsuspensions.com

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by footballeye View Post
                The odds look very interesting. I don't think the hosts should actually be the favorites, and here's some factors which I think are relevant:

                Zenit has better players than Benfica. Over the previous several years Zenit has been signing quality players thanks to a flow of money coming to the club from their big sponsor Gazprom. Benfica has been doing completely the opposite, they have been continously selling their best players over the years. Now Zenit actually has some of Benfica's best players of the past, namely Garay, Javi Garcia, and Witsel. Playing against former club typically gives players additional motivation so I expect these three to do particularly well in the familiar environment of the Da Luz stadium. Benfica is a solid side but in terms of quality of players I think Zenit is better, with their only problematic position being the goalkeeper.

                Zenit has Hulk. Benfica can't boast having a player of such quality, who on a good day can decide a game singlehandedly. This season the Brazilian has also established a good partnership with Zenit's big forward Dzyuba and collected a lot of assists, somewhat uncharacteristically for him. Hulk had played in Portugal for Porto in the past and might get additional motivation from facing the old rivals, too. It's true that he's inconsistent and can disappoint on a bad day, but I find it generally a good strategy to go against the odds when Zenit and Hulk are involved -- they can lose unexpectedly, but can also beat almost any team. Benfica doesn't have any big stars; they do have future stars maybe, for example a couple of very promising youngsters in Renato Sanches and Gonsalo Guedes, but both are only 18 and not experienced enough for the high level of the CL playoffs.

                Zenit coach Villas-Boas is Portugese. He knows Portugese football in general and Benfica in particular very well, probably better than his counterpart knows about Zenit. The two teams with their respective Portugese coaches play in similar style and there won't be any tactical surprises in this fixture. Without some tactical revelations though the hosts might find it difficult to beat Zenit assuming the Petersburgers have players who are stronger individually. In addition, Zenit has better defense than Benfica. Speaking of defense, for the Tuesday's match the hosts will miss their defensive stallwart and captain Luisao who is injured (a long-term absentee).

                I watched a couple of Benfica games back in December after they had been drawn to face Zenit. My immediate reaction was "how did this team manage to qualify for the CL playoffs?!" The games I watched were 0-0 versus Madeira, and 1-0 versus Guimaraes. To me, Benfica looked rather clueless in attack, and in the second match Guimaraes was actually the better side and didn't deserve to lose; thier coach Sergio Conceicao had all the reasons to be unhappy with the refereeing, his team played quite well while I can't say the same about Benfica. I know that Benfica had improved since then and achieved good results in January by extending their winning streak to 11 matches in all competitions. Impressive result, but it only proves they are good at beating weaker opposition. Benfica are an attacking-minded team with vulnerable defense. They have sufficient power upfront to overcome most teams in the domestic league but playing against stronger teams is a different story; last Friday's clash with Porto serves as an example and Benfica indeed lost 1-2 in the Classico on home soil. I won't be surprised if I see a similar result on Tuesday.

                This is Zenit's first match after a 2-month winter break and this may be the only factor that can potentially work against them. However Zenit didn't have problem beating PSV away in the first match of last year. A year before that they lost to Dortmund 2-4 at home in the first game, but that game involved a freak start when Zenit found themselves 0-2 down after just 4 minutes of play so that result had to be considered more of an accident rather than bad football by Zenit. I don't believe that the long winter break will pose a big problem for the visitors.

                Zenit players have particular motivation to do well in the Champions League. The domestic campaign this season has been a disaster so far, and things in the domestic league now look broken beyond repair. Realistically I see no chance for Zenit to win the title this year. Coach Villas-Boas will be leaving in June, and some of the players will follow. It is important for the players to showcase themselves at the European stage this spring. There was a mood in the team last fall to "achieve something" in Europe and couple of players actually conceded in interviews that they were giving priority to the Champions League matches over the Russian league; I see no reason why they would chsange their attitude now, so they will come out fully motivated. Zenit has been doing reasonably well in the away fixtures in the CL in the past, beating Lyon, Valencia, Benfica, Porto, Dortmund, and Milan in recent years.

                The two teams met 4 times in the CL in the last 4 years, Zenit came out winners 3 times with Benfica winning once, however the Lisbon side eliminated Zenit in the 2011-12 CL playoffs. Zenit won two of the more recent meetings at the last season's group stage.

                As for Zenit team news: the only notable absence is the attacking right back Smolnikov who is injured. Initially he was expected to miss a couple of months but his recovery went faster than expected and he'll be ready to play in about a week's time. An experienced Russian international Zhirkov has been brought in as a backup for the full backs Anyukov and Criscito. Other acquisitions in the winter transfer window were Brazilian central midfielder Mauricio and Russian international forward Kokorin. None of the three new players are expected to start against Benfica though. Villas-Boas is very conservative when it comes to changing the starting lineup, and I expect to see all the familiar faces in the first match of 2016, like: Lodygin - Anyukov, Garay, Lombaerts, Criscito - Witsel, Javi Garcia, Danny - Shatov, Dzyuba, Hulk (this also happens to be the 11 players who started in Zenit's last preparational match versus Orebro).

                I think Zenit should be viewed as favorites and see value in taking Zenit straight win at these amazing odds (3.66 at marathonbet). Zenit DNB is available at 2.625

                Good luck!
                Useless @[email protected] A lot of misleading words... why this should be favorites? Because it's my team!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by footballeye View Post
                  The odds look very interesting. I don't think the hosts should actually be the favorites, and here's some factors which I think are relevant:

                  ......

                  Good luck!

                  mate ... all due respect ... most of writing above sounds like fan reasuring himself
                  ahead of big game ...


                  benfica , porto , sevilla , atletico .... yeap ... they are sellers .... in teh case of both portie sides theyve been doing it for ages ...spanish ones just found teh fun of it due to ec woes in this part of eu ... and guess what ..it does not matter couse they sign soundly youngsters that are more motivaated and potentially next sells for above 50M ...
                  but they usually keep the trunk with exp fellons...
                  so at the end its not such big factor ..maybe in september when they have to build up ...

                  also teh pressure to deliver from such big spenders may be a handicap as well ...

                  still this is an iberian high as usual competitive side ag a russian side that - well hardly any russian football team can compete n europe on reg basis ..they get results here and there but end up failing ...i must say zenit looked real deal this autumn ..but still id had to see it to believe it ...

                  portie coach ..so what ... ¿?¿

                  u may be right odds can be bit unbalanced but still beating out of sorts valencia with a dodgy keeper that day and lyon does not make u world beater imo ...

                  only minus for benfica is they seem to lose all big games this season ...
                  otherwise they look like usual hard big portie gun full of weapons ...
                  ...but then again, who does?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I think the opinion of Footballeye was a very good one and totally don't understand the critiques.

                    He highlighted some very important points:
                    - Zenit's better overall quality (well, at least considering players value)
                    - Zenit advantage in terms of experience (very important factor, imo)
                    - AVB perfect knowledge of Portuguese football;
                    - Zenit full focus on CL (this should be strongly considered, as Benfica is involved in fierce battle with Sporting and Porto, just had a derby with their rival Porto on Friday, and probably started focusing on this game just few days ago; while Zenit has been preparing and thinking about this match for 2 months);

                    I think that the only weakness of Footballeye here is that he underestimated Benfica, based on his December experience with them. The truth is that they played some very nice football in the last two months. They got two very hot strikers - Jonas and Mitroglu (esp Jonas is in super form). Their star winger Nico Gaitan is back form a long injury. They are playing good and pacy football atm.

                    However, Eagles have troubles in defense. The long serving pair Jardel - Luisao has been changed this season, after aging Luisao has been sent to the bench. His place was taken by Argentinian defender Lisandro Lopez. However, Lopez got injured two weeks ago and now the young Swede Lindeloff is playing, and I believe this is a major weakness for Benfica.

                    Overall, although I like a lot Benfica passion and pace at the moment, I agree with Footballeye that Zenit is the more experienced and balanced team, and I think they will explore Benfica weaknesses in defense.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Something similar I planned to write,like Micho did,and to conclude
                      -Zenit is closer to next phase
                      -In first match there should be 2-3-4 goals.

                      Gaitan and Jonas are maybe a key factors,but Samaris is key for strong battle on midfield for home team
                      -Dzyba will be main threat for home defence,not Hulk.
                      My results on first match 1-2 ,2-1 ,1:1.
                      Good luck to all.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Just a few more words about Eagles...

                        They play with 4-4-2. Their strikers pair is Jonas-Mitroglu. As I said, they are in great form, however, they both belong to the type of slower and physical strikers. This can work a lot against mediocre Portuguese teams, but I am not sure it will work against top teams in Europe. This 4-4-2 with two heavy strikers is a little bit of antique 1990s football. Top teams, which play 4-4-2 now, normally use at least one soft and pacy striker (Atletico actually uses two players of this type - Griezman and Vietto). At least in theory, good defenses should be able to cancel out efficiently such attacking pair.

                        The wings are prolly the strongest part of this Benfica team. They have plenty of options there, with their star man Nico Gaitan, the good and experienced Pizzi, but also with the strong Mexican Gimenez and the young star Guedes. These are four very strong flank players, and you can add to them the good full-backs, who are fast and confident dribblers.

                        The holding midfielders, in the face of Samaris and young Sanches are also stable. About the defense, I already talked enough.

                        Key question will be how Zenit will be able to close down the flanks. If they don't close well Benfica's great flank players, then both Mitroglu and Jonas can be a big threat, because they are really powerful with headers. If Zenit closes down flanks well, Jonas and Mitroglu can become useless.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I think that main advantage of Benfica is a tradition which has in Europe.Zenit makes some improvment this season and fully focused on Europe has good and experience player and they have all components for succes this year.Thing that they are "russian team" and can sucked isn t truth.If we see their usuall line up from CL except home town when they play,fans and just a few players(GK,Dzyba and one or two more) all other players(including mentality) are import.Zenit paid high price last season for that they hadn t a competitive match when they had a knock out clash with Dortmund(they got two goals from Germans for couple of min but they focused very fast on match and scored.With that experience I think, and not to good in my opinion coach but which have lot of experience and knowledge from Portugal I think that chance are more 50:50% then this nonsense with odds.And when we talk about tradititon,things are dramaticcly changes.We all know Leicester and Spurrs EPL story.
                          Last edited by radicke; 16-02-16, 15:24. Reason: merge

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by radicke View Post
                            I think that main advantage of Benfica is a tradition which has in Europe.Zenit makes some improvment this season and fully focused on Europe has good and experience player and they have all components for succes this year.Thing that they are "russian team" and can sucked isn t truth.If we see their usuall line up from CL except home town when they play,fans and just a few players(GK,Dzyba and one or two more) all other players(including mentality) are import.Zenit paid high price last season for that they hadn t a competitive match when they had a knock out clash with Dortmund(they got two goals from Germans for couple of min but they focused very fast on match and scored.With that experience I think, and not to good in my opinion coach but which have lot of experience and knowledge from Portugal I think that chance are more 50:50% then this nonsense with odds.And when we talk about tradititon,things are dramaticcly changes.We all know Leicester and Spurrs EPL story.
                            Well, you talk about tradition, but on last season there was 2 clash between the two teams, and on both matches Zenit won.

                            in the 1st match @ Lisbon, Zenit won 0-2 (and the team is not that much different now, actually I could say Zenit now is even stronger)

                            I'm not seeing Zenit losing tonight

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Over 2 goals or both teams to score, I still have to decide...

                              Comment

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