Lazio v Bayern Munich
Tuesday 23 February, 20:00
Live on BT Sport 3
Lazio in a position to get pleasure from Champions League journey
Lazio’s lack of Champions League expertise confirmed via on Matchday Six of the group stage, as they did their finest to blow it, however snuck via to the final 16 like a baby taking a midnight snack again to mattress. The Romans solely wanted to keep away from defeat towards Club Brugge on the Stadio Olimpico, however they twice gave up the lead in a jittery 2-2 draw towards a crew that performed a lot of the recreation with ten males. The Belgians even hit the woodwork within the dying embers of the match.
However, that is all up to now now, and Simone Inzaghi’s underdogs have an out of doors shot at greatness. Their kind in 2021 has been sturdy, with Inter the one crew to beat them in Serie A. The Biancoceleste have gained their final six league video games on the Olimpico, and their checklist of victims contains Napoli and Roma.
Luis Alberto is again after an appendix operation, and the stylish Spanish midfielder scored the one purpose of the weekend’s 1-0 win over Sampdoria. First-choice keeper Thomas Strakosha is injured, so former Bayern keeper Pepe Reina will proceed to deputise.
Bruised Bayern must dig deep
One of the beauties of the German soccer programme “Das aktuelle Sportstudio” is that they can ebook company forward of the day’s Bundesliga soccer, so there are moments when one thing massive breaks throughout the day, and it simply so occurs that the right visitor has already been lined up for the night. On Saturday, Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was on the recent seat to react to the champions’ 2-1 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt. He pulled no punches, lambasting Leroy Sane and Niklas Süle for his or her roles within the Frankfurt objectives, and he demanded extra focus and dedication.
The Bavarian giants are nonetheless a formidable machine, however it’s a machine in want of restore and recalibration.
Thomas Müller and Benjamin Pavard have been sidelined by COVID-19, the desperately unfortunate Corentin Tolisso has suffered one more long-term harm and the midfield axis of Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka hasn’t performed collectively as a lot as coach Hansi Flick would have appreciated. If you throw in a compacted schedule (34 aggressive video games and counting) that makes the Labours of Hercules appear to be a picnic, then it is comprehensible that Bayern are under their optimum degree.
A working theme is Bayern’s fragility in defence. They have already leaked 31 Bundesliga objectives, one shy of their whole for the entire of final season. They have conceded a number of objectives in eight of their 22 league video games, and that determine can be larger if it wasn’t for some stellar shows from goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Of course, we should not neglect that Bayern even have German soccer’s most fearsome assault. They have smashed in 62 objectives in 22 league video games, and at time of writing Robert Lewandowski (26 objectives) had scored extra Bundesliga objectives this time period than six of the 18 top-flight golf equipment.
Goretzka ought to return to the beginning XI after approaching as a half-time sub in Frankfurt, whereas Serge Gnabry is working onerous to be match. Right-back stays a giant concern – Pavard is out, Bouna Sarr is in need of kind, and Süle had a troublesome recreation in Frankfurt.
Bashed-up Bayern a bit too brief
As Borussia Dortmund came upon within the group stage, a visit to face Lazio isn’t simple, and of their present state Bayern look too brief within the Match Odds market right here at 1.738/11. I feel they are going to come via the tie, and I nonetheless consider they’re going to win the event, however they may must grit their tooth right here and take in a little bit of punishment.
Lazio have solely misplaced twice at residence by a number of objectives in all competitions, and you’ll again them +1.0 right here on the Asian Handicap at 1.84/5, which suggests you solely lose if Bayern win by two objectives or extra.
Bayern’s kind suggests objectives are on the playing cards
Lazio’s high quality in assault is formidable. In Ciro Immobile (14 objectives in Serie A, 5 within the UCL) they’ve one in every of Italy’s best marksmen, whereas Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (5 objectives and 7 assists in Serie A) are each glorious attacking midfielders. Lazio have scored a number of objectives in 9 of their final 15 aggressive outings.
Bayern’s offensive energy and defensive deficiencies ought to make for an entertaining mixture right here, so I’ll again Over 3.5 Goals at 2.285/4. That guess has landed in 18 of their 34 aggressive matches this time period.
Immobile to shine in strikers’ battle
He did not get pleasure from his time in Germany with Borussia Dortmund, however Ciro Immobile stays a top-class striker. He has netted in 17 of his final 23 aggressive appearances, and is 7/5 on the Sportsbook to seek out the online. He’ll look to get in behind Bayern’s excessive line of defense, and I’m positive he’ll get possibilities to attain.
Lewandowski is a reasonably much less interesting 8/15, however he’s 13/5 to score multiple goals, one thing he has managed 9 instances for membership and nation this season.