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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Zenit boss Andre Villas-Boas expects Benfica to be 'angry'

Zenit St Petersburg manager Andre Villas-Boas expects to face an "angry" Benfica side as they open their Champions League tie on Tuesday.

Benfica lost 2-1 at home to rivals Porto on Friday, ending their run of eight straight wins in the Liga.

They now trail leaders Sporting by three points, and Villas-Boas said they will be happy to take out frustrations on Zenit when their last-16 begins on Tuesday at the Estadio da Luz.

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"I expect Benfica to be angry after the Porto result and eager to get back to winning ways," said Villas-Boas, who previously managed Porto.

"In recent months they have transformed themselves completely. They are playing well, winning, scoring lots of goals.

"This Benfica plays down the flanks, they cross a lot and create many goal chances from wing play. They play with a high defence, taking risks with the offside trap and they look very sharp.

Andre Villas-Boas
Andre Villas-Boas and Zenit haven't played a competitive match since December.

"I underline Jonas' quality and also Renato Sanches, who has tremendous confidence for an 18-year-old. This mix of youth and experience make Benfica a quality side, good to watch."

The Russian Premier League does not begin until March, meaning Zenit's final Champions League group-stage game in December was their most recent competitive match.

"Our weakness is that we have been stopped two months," Villas-Boas said.

"But we have worked very well over past two months and our aim is to grab a good result in order to qualify at home, where we have had some great performances in this competition."


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