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Match facts: Zenit v Benfica

Published: Sunday 12 February 2012, 19.00CET
Match facts: Zenit v Benfica
Danko Lazović and Zenit have not played a competitive fixture since their matchday six draw with Porto ©Getty Images

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Published: Sunday 12 February 2012, 19.00CET

Match facts: Zenit v Benfica

Zenit

UEFA milestones
• Zenit's next win in UEFA competition will be their 50th.

UEFA Champions League statistics
• Domenico Criscito and Tomáš Hubočan will incur a suspension with their next bookings.

Latest domestic information
• The Russian winter break started at the end of November and ends on 3 March when Premier-Liga leaders Zenit face a PFC CSKA Moskva side six points adrift in second.

• The Premier-Liga has split in two for the second stage of this 18-month transitional championship, with the top eight playing each other twice – a process that began on 18 November. While past Russian seasons followed the calendar year, from 2012/13 the competition will run from summer to summer.

• Zenit returned to work on 12 January and had training camps in Dubai (15-27 January) – winning the invitational Match World Cup – and at the Italian national team base in Florence (29 January to 8 February).

• Friendly results
18/01: Zenit 2-1 FC Bunyodkor, UZB (Huszti 13, Criscito 43)
20/01: Zenit 2-1 Iraq Olympic side (Bukharov 10, Kerzhakov 75)
23/01: Zenit 5-0 Uzbekistan Olympic side (Lazović 10pen, Rosina 69 80, Danny 84 86)
25/01: Zenit 4-0 PFK Lokomotiv Tashkent, UZB (Lazović 3, Kerzhakov 52, Huszti 56, Bukharov 80pen)
26/01: Zenit 1-2 FC Shurtan Guzar, UZB (Luković 69pen)
01/02: Zenit 3-1 Serie D U19 XI, ITA (Lombaerts 40, Danny 50, Denisov 54)
04/02: Zenit 5-2 US Pistoiese 1921, ITA (Luković 19pen 27pen 57pen, Fayzulin 44, Huszti 59)
06/02: Zenit 1-0 AC Cesena, ITA (Kerzhakov 22)

• Zenit are 15 matches unbeaten in all competitions, winning eight since the matchday one defeat by APOEL FC.

• Luciano Spalletti's side are 19 matches unbeaten at home, winning 12 and drawing seven since a 2-0 Russian Cup defeat by CSKA on 20 April.

• Zenit will face FC Dinamo Moskva at home in the Russian Cup quarter-finals on 21 March.

Injury news
• Criscito has been ruled out of the first leg with Benfica due to severe food poisoning; he was hospitalised on Sunday and underwent an operation.

• Danny tore knee ligaments on 5 February and has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

• Roman Shirokov (calf) and Aleksandr Bukharov (hamstring) have each missed a week of training over the past month.

• Vyacheslav Malafeev complained of pain in his calf muscle during training on Sunday. The same problem meant he trained individually for most of the winter break and did not play in any of Zenit's friendly matches.

• Aleksandr Anyukov and Danko Lazović were forced to train in a gym for a couple of days because of minor muscle problems sustained during the training camp in Italy.

• Aleksandr Kerzhakov, who has scored nine goals in his past nine league outings, has not played a competitive game since suffering an ankle injury at FC Spartak Moskva on 2 October but featured prominently during the club's winter friendlies.

UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: None
Out: Aleksei Ionov (FC Kuban Krasnodar), Michael Lumb (SC Freiburg, loan)

Miscellaneous
• On 9 February, Spalletti signed a contract extension committing him to Zenit until summer 2015.

• At the beginning of February, Viktor Fayzulin signed a new deal tying him to Zenit until 30 June 2016.

• On 5 January, Criscito's wife gave birth to a son they have named Alfredo. Four days later Konstantin Zyryanov became a father to a girl, Polina.

• Malafeev has gone a record 606 minutes without conceding an international goal for Russia.

Benfica

UEFA milestones
• Jorge Jesus oversaw his 21st win in 38 games in UEFA competition as Benfica coach on matchday six, surpassing Sven-Göran Eriksson's club record (20 from 39).

• Benfica have committed 101 fouls, more than any other team in the round of 16, and been caught offside nine times, the lowest total of the teams still involved.

• The Portuguese club have scored 346 European Cup goals.

• Luisão has made a record 81 appearances in UEFA club competition for Benfica.

UEFA Champions League statistics
• Nicolás Gaitán has provided five assists; the highest total in the competition.

• Maxi Pereira is available after a one-game ban; Pablo Aimar, Artur and Ezequiel Garay will incur suspensions with their next yellow cards.

Latest domestic information
Saturday 11 February: SL Benfica 4-1 CD Nacional (Garay 9, Cardozo 21, Rodrigo 39 61; Claudemir 29pen)
Artur; Witsel, Luisão, Garay, Emerson; Matić, Gaitán (Bruno César 79), Aimar (Miguel Vítor 59), Nolito; Rodrigo (Nélson Oliveira 74); Cardozo

• Benfica, shorn of the suspended Maxi Pereira, made it 11 wins in a row since their 22-match unbeaten start to the season ended at CS Marítimo on 2 December.

• Óscar Cardozo has scored in each of his last eight starts since the beginning of December, 11 goals in all.

• Spanish Under-21 international Rodrigo, who struck 25 seconds into his first Liga start against SC Olhanense on 29 October, has registered 18 goals in his last 23 appearances for club and country.

• Benfica are unbeaten in the Liga this season despite keeping just five clean sheets in 18 games. They went top for the first time this term in the opening round after the new year.

• Benfica have scored in all 34 of their competitive matches this season.

• Winners of the last three editions, Benfica will meet FC Porto in the Portuguese League Cup semi-finals next month after beating Marítimo, Vitória SC and second-tier CD Santa Clara in Group B.

Injury news
• Emerson and Luisão started on Saturday after shaking off right thigh injuries that ruled them out of Benfica's 3-0 League Cup victory over Marítimo on 5 February.

• Javi García missed Saturday's game having picked up an injury in training the previous day.

UEFA Champions League squad changes
In: Yannick Djaló (free agent), Joan Capdevila, André Almeida
Out:
Ruben Amorim (SC Braga, loan), César Peixoto (Gil Vicente FC), Enzo Peréz (Club Estudiantes de La Plata, loan)

Miscellaneous
• Club favourite Eusébio celebrated his 70th birthday on 25 January and announced that Benfica winning the title this season "would be the best gift I could have".

Last updated: 13/02/12 15.41CET

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