The Portuguese side also took four points from FC Basel to ensure they finished top of Group C and they have been rewarded with a reasonable draw in the last sixteen stage, with Jorge Jesus’ team travelling to Russia before the return leg in a fortnight’s time.
Benfica have not lost a game in the Portuguese league this season and there is every chance they will get at least a draw from their trip to the Petrovsky Stadium, with the bookies offering odds of 2/1 (Coral free bets) that the visitors land victory.
Zenit are currently coming towards the end of a winter break and the worry is that they will be short of match practice for the Champions League, having finished behind APOEL in their Champions League qualification group.
The Sine-Belo-Golubye remain as the most impressive team their domestic league at the moment, leading the Championship group table by six points and they can be backed at 8/5 (Bet Victor free betting) to establish some kind of first leg advantage on Wednesday night.
The last few results from that group stage suggest a low-scoring affair in this game, with two consecutive goalless draws from games against APOEL and Porto ensuring they went through. Odds of 9/4 (bet365 bookmaker) are on offer about the draw in this one.