Zenit must now travel west for the second leg knowing that their opponents can go through with a 1-0 or 2-1 win, with the Stadium of Light a daunting prospect for any visiting team and it should be noted that Benfica won the Champions League group which included Manchester United and Basel.
The home team are 13/20 (Unibet bookmaker) to claim victory in this match which would almost certainly ensure they qualify for the last eight of the competition and there is every reason to suggest the Eagles will prove too strong in front of their own supporters.
Benfica might have failed to win any of their last four games, although Friday’s 3-2 home defeat against Porto really could have gone either way and the previous three matches were away from home.
Oscar Cardozo is one of the most dangerous strikers in Europe and the Paraguayan looks a good bet at 5/1 (bet365 £200 free bets) to score the opening goal considering he was on the scoresheet in the opening match.
Zenit are a 5/1 chance (Bet Victor) to win the second leg in Portugal and become one of eight teams left in the competition, while a draw would be enough to help them through and Ladbrokes go 11/4 that the match ends all square and the Russian Premier League leaders are celebrating.