Pre-Match Press: SL Benfica x Zenit

Eduardo Salvio spoke at the press conference ahead of Tuesday's game against Zenit at the Estádio da Luz.  

"I am one hundred percent. I have been training very well and I am glad to be back and to be able to help the team with all I have. The desire is always there. Like all players, I train to play and keep my position, although it is the coach who decides," Salvio began by saying. 




Squad List: SL Benfica x Zenit

Rui Vitória has called up 21 players for the game against Zenit at the Estádio da Luz on Tuesday. Luisão, Nuno Santos, Fejsa and Lisandro López remain injured.

Goalkeepers: Júlio César and Ederson

Defenders: Lindelöf, Eliseu, Sílvio, Jardel, André Almeida, Nélson Semedo and Grimaldo

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

Forwards: Raúl Jiménez, Mitroglou, Jovic and Jonas




Point of view: Benfica x Zenit

On Tuesday night, Benfica face Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg in the Champions League for the third time in five seasons, and for the second time in the round of 16 (2011/12 last 16; 2014/15 group stage; 2015/16 last 16). With former Benfica players Ezequiel Garay, Javi García and Axel Witsel in the Zenit squad, together with Portuguese international Danny and ex-Porto star Hulk, there is plenty of added interest in the encounter.

Ahead of the game, Russian football expert Mikhail Morozov of Football-tv.ru and SportFM.ru (an avid Benfica and Spartak Moscow fan) gave his thoughts exclusively to Planet Benfica.




Zenit strengthen ahead of Benfica clash

Aleksandr Kokorin

Zenit St Petersburg have strengthened their squad ahead of their Champions League round-of-16 tie with Benfica, signing Russian internationals Yuri Zhirkov and Aleksandr Kokorin (pictured) from rivals Dinamo Moscow. Both players are eligible to play in Europe, with Dinamo banned from continental competition for breaching financial fair play rules.




Benfica to face Zenit in Champions League

Garay and Witsel

Benfica will play Zenit St Petersburg in the last 16 of the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League. The first leg will be played at the Estádio da Luz on Tuesday 16th February, with the second leg at the Petrovsky Stadium on Wednesday 9th March.

The tie reunites Benfica with some familiar faces, including former players Axel Witsel, Ezequiel Garay and Javi García, ex-Porto coach André Villas-Boas, and ex-Porto forward Hulk. The Zenit squad also includes Portuguese internationals Danny and Luís Neto.




Highlights: Benfica 1 - 2 Atlético Madrid




Vital to finish first says Vitória

Benfica manager Rui Vitória ensured his side won't take the foot off the gas even though they have qualified for the Last 16.

The Lisbon side could do well by finishing first and avoiding the likes of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Barcelona, all who have sealed their fate as seeded teams by finishing top of the group.

"I wouldn't be ok with myself if we didn't approach this game in the same manner as the previous ones in this competition. I remember that in the openning game I said it will be necessary to play on the 'red line' and that isn't about to change."




Raúl Jiménez relishing encounter with former team

Raúl Jiménez is likely to return to the starting eleven and face his former side. The Mexican striker played in the Vicente Calderon and more recently scored an important brace against Astana in Kazakhstan in Matchday 5.

"We have to be very well organised because Atlético [MAdrid] are a strong team, we will need to be cautious. We need to give our best, just like every game, to obtain the best result."




Squad List: SL Benfica x Atlético Madrid

Benfica manager Rui Vitória has called 20 players to tomorrow's Champions League Group C clash against Spanish heavy heavyweights Atlético de Madrid. 

Sílvio has recovered whilst Djuricic and Taarabt remain out of option.

Nélson Semedo, Luisão and Salvio continue sidelined through injury.

Goalkeepers: Ederson and Júlio César
 
Defenders: Lisandro López; Lindelöf, Eliseu, Sílvio, Jardel and André Almeida;
 
Midfielders: Fejsa, Samaris, Gaitán, Gonçalo Guedes, Pizzi, Cristante, Talisca, Carcela and Renato Sanches;
 
Forwards: Mitroglou, Jonas and Raúl Jiménez




Highlights: Astana 2 - 2 Benfica




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