Champions League draw: Benfica face tough Bayern test

Benfica have been handed the unenviable task of beating Bayern Munich to reach the Champions League semi-finals, after today’s quarter-final draw at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.




Benfica await Champions League quarter-final draw

This season, Benfica have reached the last 8 of the Champions League for the first time since 2011/12. On that occasion, Jorge Jesus' side suffered a 3-1 aggregate defeat to eventual winners Chelsea. This year's quarter-final draw takes place on Friday at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. The ceremony begins at 11:00 Portuguese time.




Vitória dedicates Zenit win to players, president and fans

Benfica are in the hat for the Champions League quarter-final draw after overcoming Zenit in Russia last night. Speaking after the game, a justifiably proud Rui Vitória paid tribute to everyone involved.

“I want to say that this was the victory of the players, of a fantastic group that have been working hard every day... (both) these (players) and those that remained in Lisbon. I also want to thank the president [Luís Filipe Vieira], who is the figure that maintains all of this stability, and our mass of fans - those that came here, those in Lisbon, and those spread throughout the world - for rooting for us. Thanks for all of this positive energy!”




Clinical Benfica advance to Champions League quarter-finals

Benfica booked their place in the last 8 of the UEFA Champions League with an impressive 2-1 victory over Zenit this evening. Rui Vitória’s men produced a composed and professional performance, completing a 3-1 aggregate win over André Villas-Boas' side.




Zenit x Benfica: Pre Match Press

Benfica and Zenit face-off in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday 9th March. The Eagles hold a 1-0 aggregate lead after Jonas' late winner in the first leg. On Tuesday evening, Rui Vitória spoke to the press ahead of the game.




Poll: Fans want Fejsa to partner Lindelöf against Zenit

With Luisão and Lisandro López out injured, and Jardel suspended, Benfica have travelled to Russia with Victor Lindelöf as the only senior centre-back in their squad. This week, we ran a 48-hour Twitter poll to see who the fans want to partner the Swede in central defence against Zenit.




Opinion: The lowdown on Zenit Saint Petersburg

Zenit and Benfica go head-to-head in Saint Petersburg on Wednesday, with a place in the Champions League quarter-finals at stake. Ahead of the game, we quizzed Russian football expert Mikhail Morozov of Football-tv.ru and SportFM.ru on Zenit's preparations. For a detailed introduction to Zenit's squad, read Mikhail's previous article here.




Squad List: Zenit x Benfica

Benfica have taken 21 players to Russia ahead of their Champions League round of 16 tie with Zenit. The major absentees are Júlio César (ruptured adductor tendon), Luisão (broken arm), Lisandro López (lower back pain), Jardel and André Almeida (both suspended).

Victor Lindelöf is the only senior centre-back in the squad, meaning that Ljubomir Fejsa or Andreas Samaris could start in defence. Álex Grimaldo returns after a bout of flu. 21-year old goalkeeper Miguel Santos and 18-year old defender Rúben Dias have been promoted from Benfica’s B team, but are unlikely to feature.

Goalkeepers: Ederson, Paulo Lopes and Miguel Santos.

Defenders: Grimaldo, Lindelof, Eliseu, Sílvio, Nélson Semedo and Rúben Dias.

Midfielders: Fejsa, Samaris, Gaitán, Salvio, Gonçalo Guedes, Pizzi, Talisca, Carcela and Renato Sanches.

Forwards: Raúl, Mitroglou and Jonas.

Benfica start with a narrow 1-0 lead from the first leg. The game begins at 17:00 on Wednesday, at the 21,000-seater Petrovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg.




No room for complacency ahead of Zenit rematch

Despite securing a creditable victory over Zenit earlier this week, Benfica’s players are under no illusions as to the magnitude of the task that awaits them in Saint Petersburg on March 9th.

Renato Sanches, who produced another tireless display on Tuesday night, acknowledged that the Petrovsky Stadium will be a difficult place to play: "There are no favourites. Zenit scrapped hard here at the Luz, and in Russia it will be a different game. They will play at home, (and) it'll be very cold, but we will work hard to win and to progress."




Advantage Benfica after last-gasp winner

Benfica secured a deserved victory over Zenit at the Estádio da Luz on Tuesday night. They will take a slender one-goal advantage to Russia for the second leg on Wednesday 9th March.




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