Benfica v Zenit St Petersburg: Russians can avoid defeat

Dan Fitch can't understand why Benfica are big favourites for their match against in-form Zenit on Tuesday night.

Benfica 2.28 v Zenit St Petersburg 3.40; The Draw 3.60
Tuesday 10 December, 20:00
Live on BT Sport Extra

Second placed Zenit look over their shoulder

Zenit are currently second in Group G, but could finish bottom if they were to be beaten by a sufficient margin by Benfica.
The Portuguese giants are currently fourth in the group. A win would see them move level on points with Zenit, although having lost the reverse fixture 3-1, they would need to do so comfortably to gain a head-to-head advantage. Benfica cannot finish second, but they can claim third ahead of Zenit and enter the last-32 of the Europa League.
Zenit don't just have to worry about their own result. A win would see them finish second behind the already qualified RB Leipzig, but a draw opens the door for Lyon to take that spot. The good news for Zenit is that they've won their last five matches, conceding only one goal along the way.
Benfica are unbeaten in six (W4 D2). Four points clear at the top of the Primeira Liga, they have been surprisingly uncompetitive in the Champions League, in a group which looked very even at the start of the competition.

Zenit can avoid defeat

Considering Benfica's poor showing in the Champions League this season, it's a surprise to see them as fairly short priced favourites to win this match at odds of 2.28.
So far they have only won one of their five group games, at home to Lyon. While it's true that they once again have home advantage and should be motivated to qualify for the Europa League, Zenit have more to gain and beat them at home fairly easily.
Zenit are a big enough price that you can play it safe and back them to simply avoid defeat in the Double Chance market at 1.83. Only RB Leipzig have beaten them in the Champions League group stage.

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