Our match prediction:
Having suffered three defeats in past four meetings with Zenit, Benfica will not be relishing the prospect of facing the Russian giants at Estadio da Luz, so no wonder they are predicted to crash out of the competition in the Last 16 stage. This game comes at a very bad time for the Eagles, who have just suffered a major blow to their title hopes and confidence by losing to arch rivals FC Porto, and it remains to be seen how they will respond to the disappointing defeat. The absence of high pressure encounters during the Champions League break could prove another problem for the hosts, who could welcome Lisandro Lopez back to the side. After struggling to meet the expectations in Europe's elite competition, Zenit have finally started proving their worth and five wins in what was a very strong group definitely make them favourites to progress to the next stage. The Russian Premier League winter break would be a problem for some, but Andre Villas-Boas' men have done pretty well at this stage in previous years and we expect them to extend the impressive run in meetings with Benfica.