UEFA Champions League: Zenit v Benfica

Benfica are expected be boosted by the returns of Maxi Pereira and Lima for Wednesday's UEFA Champions League fixture against Zenit.

First-team regulars Pereira and Lima missed Benfica's 4-1 win over Moreirense in the Taca de Portugal on Saturday.

Uruguay international defender Pereira was rested by Benfica coach Jorge Jesus after playing against Costa Rica and Chile midweek, while Brazilian striker Lima missed the cup clash due to injury.

But the pair are set to make the important trip to Russia with Benfica's qualification hopes on the line in Group C.

"Maxi Pereira arrived a few days ago, made two appearances for Uruguay, was tired but will be an option in Russia," Jesus told reporters post-game on Saturday.

"Compared to Lima, who had a problem during the week and did not want to risk it."

The 2013-14 Europa League runners-up and Zenit have both managed to collect four points from as many games, five less than leaders Bayer Leverkusen.

After a winless start to their Group C campaign, Benfica rocketed back into contention with victory on matchday four, triumphing 1-0 over Monaco, who are in the box seat to join Leverkusen in the last 16.

The Portuguese champions must improve on their last meeting with Zenit in September, when they lost 2-0.

"We are the champions, anything can happen," the 60-year-old added. "We know that if we lose, we are out.

"Let's play the game and try to be better than them."

Zenit also head into Wednesday's showdown at the Stadion Petrovski in winning form.

Andre Villas-Boas and his Zenit side scraped past Kuban Krasnodar 1-0 on Saturday to end a run of back-to-back defeats after losing to Terek Grozny in the Russian Premier League and Leverkusen in the Champions League.

Villas-Boas was pleased with the performance and he is hoping it inspires a "set of wins".

"The Champions League is very tight, all teams depend on themselves," Villas-Boas said afterwards on Saturday.

"We know we have to play well and we know how difficult it is and we don't need anyone to remind us. Hopefully this is the start of the next set of the wins, but it is difficult.

"Now the focus is on Champions League and we will take it game by game."