Goal.com previews the action as the Russian outfit look to maintain their good home record against Portuguese sides, with the visitors aiming for a rare victory in Eastern Europe
Anyukov, Alves, Hubocan, Lombaerts
Zyryanov, Denisov, Shirokov
Faizulin, Kerzhakov, Lazovic
Amorim, Luisao, Garay, Emerson
Gaitan, Aimar, Nolito
Portuguese playmaker Danny will be missing for the hosts after it was confirmed that he would be unavailable for the rest of the season after tearing knee ligaments. Elsewhere, Vyacheslav Malafeev has been ruled out with a calf problem and Domenico Criscito was hospitalised over the weekend with food poisoning.
Aleksandr Anyukov, Danko Lazovic, Roman Shirokov and Aleksanr Bukharov have all nursed minor injuries in recent weeks, but should be fit to start, while Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who hasn't featured in a competitive match since October, is back in contention, having been prominent in the club's winter friendlies.
For Benfica, Emerson and Luisao started the weekend clash against Maritimo, after both shaking off thigh injuries. However, Javi Garcia will miss the match after sustaining a knock last week, with Nemanja Matic set to step into the Spaniard's stead.
Elsewhere, Yannick Djalo, Joan Capdevila and Andre Almeida have all been added to Jorge Jesus' squad for the competition.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- These two sides have never met before in European competition.
- However, Zenit has already hosted Portuguese opposition this season, beating Porto 3-1 in September.
- Additionally, the Russian side have never lost at home to a side from Portugal - having won two and drawn one of the three fixtures.
- Zenit defender Bruno Alves (right) is an international colleague of Benfica's Eduardo.
- Benfica goalkeeper Artur played under current Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti for Roma in 2008-09.
- The Portuguese side last won in Russia in 1996 - a 3-2 Cup Winners' Cup victory over Lokomotiv Moscow.