UEFA Champions League: Three reasons why Lazio can repeat their first leg performance against Bayern Munich



After surprisingly winning 1-0 the first leg at the Stadio Olimpico on February 14, Lazio are looking to make another miracle happen at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday. If the side coached by Maurizio Sarri avoid a defeat, then they will qualify for the quarter finals of the UEFA Champions League for the first time since the 1999-00 season when the Italian team were knocked out by Valencia. 

Bayern Munich are still the favorites and remain likely to overturn the first leg’s result, but there some reasons why Lazio fans can hope for an exciting night of European soccer. As always you can follow all the Champions League action across CBS, Paramount+, CBS Sports Network and CBS Sports Golazo Network.

The return of Mattia Zaccagni

Lazio Mattia Zaccagni back in the squad, who was not available in Rome due to an injury. His impact could be crucial rom a tactical point of view, considering that Bayern will likely keep more the ball, while Sarri’s team will try to create chances on counterattacks. 

The former Verona winger can become a big factor, especially for the counterattacks and Lazio desperately need him after two disappointing Serie A defeats against Fiorentina and AC Milan. Zaccagni is that kind of player who can bring quality to this team, but also the pace needed to combine with Ciro Immobile and Felipe Anderson a potential danger to the Bayern defense, that has been definitely not the strongest one this season up to now as also showed in the first leg.

Deny Bayern’s attack space

In the first leg, Bayern kept more the ball (60.6%), but then failed to create chances and had zero shots on target in the whole game. Lazio were good at defending in general, and didn’t leave much space for Bayern’s wingers to operate or for iconic striker Harry Kane to get his shots off. The English forward had a difficult time with only 31 touches, less than any other player involved in the game apart of the ones who came on in the second half. Bayern struggled to find Kane but also failed to create chances with their wingers, Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala. To be fair, Lazio didn’t have much more chances (only four shots on target) apart of the goal scored with Immobile’s penalty, despite e big one failed by Gustav Isaksen. The hope is that Lazio’s defensive performances can continue but now with Zaccagani back in the mix their counterattack can also thrive.

Cup runs to save Sarri’s job

As mentioned, Lazio has had some disappointing games recently, including the two defeats against Fiorentina and AC Milan that basically ended their top four ambitions for this season. However, Sarri’s future will probably be decided by the European and Coppa Italia’s campaigns and a quarterfinals qualification can probably increase his chances to stay in charge next season regardless of what will happen in the league. Considering that Lazio will also face Juventus in the Coppa Italia’s semifinals next month this might be Sarri’s best chance.

Bayern in full crisis mode

Last, but not least, Lazio will face one of the worst Bayern teams of the recent past. Thomas Tuchel’s job is in danger and rumors suggest that a potential defeat against the Italian team will lead the club for an immediate change, despite Bayern already announcing the departure of the former Chelsea manager at the end of the current season. The German giants are currently second in the league, ten points behind Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen and are almost certain to miss their first Bundesliga title in 12 years. They lost the first leg of the Champions League’s round of 16 and were also knocked out by Saarbrücken, a third division club, in the first round of the DFB Pokal. 

In general things are not looking great for Tuchel’s side and only a win against Lazio can change his immediate future at the club. Sarri and his boys have an unprecedented chance to make history, and have nothing to lose especially after winning the first leg in Rome. 

How to watch and odds

  • Date: Tuesday, Mar. 5 | Time: 3 p.m. ET
  • Location: Allianz Arena — Munich, Italy
  • Watch: CBS and Paramount+
  • Odds: Bayern -380; Draw: +450; Lazio +1000





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