When Lazio was initially drawn against Bayern Munich in the Champions League, many deemed it mission impossible for the capital-based club. Overcoming the reigning champions is a tall ask for anyone, let alone – at the time – a struggling Lazio side. Simone Inzaghi’s men have since turned their fortunes around, surging up the Serie A table. In fact, Lazio enters its clash against the Bavarian giants on Tuesday with seven wins in its last eight games.
Other than their defeat against Inter, where they dominated possession, Lazio has arguably been Italy’s most in-form side since the turn of the new year. Bayern Munich goes into the game off the back of a poor run of form, having dropped points in its last two games in league action. While you would be foolish to rule out Hansi Flick’s men, recent form suggests they can be beaten.
Lazio must be wary, however, as last season the Bundesliga outfit flicked a switch in the knockout stages and outscored the opposition 18-3 on route to the final. The Biancocelesti may be a heavy underdog, but have all the tools to spring an upset over Bayern Munich.
Ciro Immobile has shown no signs of slowing down this season and has delivered when called upon in the Champions League with five goals in four games. If Lazio has a chance at progressing, the Italian international will need to lead by example and deliver a top-class performance at home. Immobile has typically struggled on the biggest stage, but as Euro 2021 approaches, he will be eager to prove he can get it done against the very best.
Beyond Immobile, Lazio’s midfield tandem of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto is among the very best left in the competition. The former imposes his physique and regularly looks to go beyond the strikers, while few midfielders can deliver a final ball as good as Luis Alberto. The Spaniard has even added goals to his game this season, most recently scoring the winner in Lazio’s win over Sampdoria.
While Lazio may be good value to score against Bayern Munich, their progression very much depends on keeping a clean sheet on Tuesday. Inzaghi’s men welcome the Bavarian giants to the Stadio Olimpico and simply cannot afford to concede an away goal. Francesco Acerbi will be tasked with thwarting Robert Lewandowski, having gotten the better of him on the international stage before.
Playing against Bayern Munich, however, is a completely different challenge for the veteran defender and is arguably his biggest test yet since joining the Biancocelesti. The veteran presence of Pepe Reina between the posts should help alleviate some pressure off Lazio’s rearguard.
The final challenge for Lazio will be the battle on the wings. Alphonso Davies marauds the left flank at will alongside Kingsley Coman, while Leroy Sane will be raring to go himself on the opposite wing. If Inzaghi’s men can’t contain Bayern Munich’s wide men, the tie is as good as done.
Mohamed Fares and Adam Marusic will undoubtedly have their hands full on Tuesday and will need to step up. The Algerian has been all too guilty of switching off at times but will need to be at his best helping Matteo Musacchio down the left-hand side of the defense. Marusic has impressed this season, but facing Bayern’s dynamic duo is a different beast altogether.
Make no mistake about it – It won’t be easy but Lazio has what it takes to get the job done against Bayern Munich. All Inzaghi can ask for from his men is to give themselves a chance to progress going into the second leg in Germany. Lazio has a devastating front-line, a quality midfield, and an experienced backline. Whether they can all come together remains to be seen, but don’t count out Inzaghi’s men just yet.
Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you’re for it play fantasyseriea.com!