Zenit St. Petersburg will have to come from behind if they're to beat Benfica and reach the Champions League quarterfinals on Wednesday. André Villas-Boas' side trail by a goal after losing the first leg to a last-gasp Jonas strike in Lisbon last month, though should nevertheless feel confident about hauling themselves back into the tie. Benfica certainly won't be able to rest on their laurels given their slender advantage.
However, the Portuguese side doubtless head into the encounter in better shape. The first leg marked Zenit's first competitive fixture since early December, and since then they've only played twice more. Their Russian top-flight encounter against Krasnodar on the weekend ended goalless. Benfica, however, have played all through the winter, and are showing no signs of fatigue. They've won all but one of their 14 games played this calendar year, and certainly have the momentum.
Key player: Nicolás Gaitán (Benfica)
Benfica winger Nicolás Gaitán has been linked with a move to one of Europe's biggest clubs countless times over the last few years. Now 28 years old, it's looking increasingly unlikely that the Argentine international will ever get his break on to the world stage. However, perhaps that doesn't matter: he's had a fine season for Benfica, and has been involved in (either creating or scoring) five goals in six Champions League appearances so far this season. Benfica will be hoping for another big performance.
Key matchup: Hulk vs. Eliseu
If Zenit are to win this match, they could be relying on some magic from Brazilian winger Hulk. The 29-year-old has racked up even better attacking numbers than the aforementioned Gaitán in Europe this season, and will be the man Villas-Boas will be most eager to see on the ball. If he's at his very best, Benfica left-back Eliseu could be in for a horrible evening in Russia.
Zenit St. Petersburg injuries and suspensions
Out: Viktor Fayzulin (knee); Vyacheslav Malafeev (unspecified); Domenico Criscito, Javi García (suspended). In doubt: None.
Benfica injuries and suspensions
Out: Luisão (broken arm); Ljubomir Fejsa, Lisandro López (thigh); Jardel, André Almeida (suspended). In doubt: Júlio César (thigh).
Zenit will still have to do without midfielder Fayzulin and goalkeeper Malafeev, who are joined on the sidelines by suspended first-team regulars Criscito and García.
Benfica's list of absentees remains rather longer, with defenders Luisão and López and midfielder Fejsa joined on the sidelines by suspended defenders Jardel and Almeida. Goalkeeper César faces a fitness test on a thigh problem.
Match date/time: Wednesday, 12 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. local
Venue: Petrovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia
TV: FOX Sports 1 (U.S. - English); ESPN Deportes (U.S. - Spanish); RDS, TSN2, beIN Sports (Canada); BT Sport Europe (U.K.)
Online: FOX Soccer 2GO, FOX Sports GO, Watch ESPN (U.S.); beIN Sports Connect (Canada); BT Sport live streaming (U.K.)