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Preview: Bayern Munich vs. Lazio - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Champions League clash between Bayern Munich and Lazio, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Bayern Munich take on Lazio in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 knockout tie on Wednesday, with the defending champions holding a 4-1 lead from the first leg at Stadio Olimpico.

As such, it would take a monumental effort from the Italians to overturn the deficit at Allianz Arena and subsequently reach the quarter-final of this competition for the first time since 2000.


Match preview

Bayern Munich's Jerome Boateng pictured on March 6, 2021© Reuters

Bayern have not kept a clean sheet in any of their last six matches, so Lazio may feel confident of troubling the Bavarians in an offensive sense. However, as the first leg showed, it is at the other end of the pitch where the Italians' problems are likely to lie.

Indeed, Hansi Flick's side dismantled Werder Bremen during a clinical 3-1 victory away from home on Saturday, with Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry and Robert Lewandowski wrapping up a comfortable win within the first two-thirds of the match prior to Niclas Fullkrug's late consolation strike.

Having hit the woodwork twice in the early exchanges, Lewandowski would have been relieved to get himself on the scoresheet yet again to join Klaus Fischer on 268 career Bundesliga goals. Only the legendary Gerd Muller (365) has scored more in German top-flight history, although another 97 goals may prove a tall order for the Poland striker to reach given that he will turn 33 years of age in August.

Either way, with a four-point cushion opened up ahead of RB Leipzig after Julian Nagelsmann's side drew with Eintracht Frankfurt on Sunday, attention must now return to the Champions League in midweek. Should Bayern take an early lead, they may find their opponents' heads quickly dropping and another match to cruise their way through.

Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi pictured on February 14, 2021© Reuters

Indeed, even Lazio's sporting director Igli Tare admitted that Friday's Serie A match against bottom-placed Crotone "counts more than the one against Bayern," with the Italians embroiled in another battle to qualify for the Champions League.

Simone Inzaghi's side left it late to beat the minnows, who twice pegged the home side back through Simeon Nwankwo's brace after Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto had provided Lazio with a 2-1 lead heading into the half-time interval.

Substitute Felipe Caicedo's 85th-minute winner could prove crucial come the end of the campaign, as it keeps his side six points behind fourth-placed Atalanta with a game in hand. Had Inzaghi's side dropped two points at home against the worst performing side in the division, there may have been no coming back from that in terms of qualifying for the Champions League once again.

Wednesday's trip to Munich essentially represents a free hit for them, then, with scoring an early away goal likely to be their main priority. Should they manage to do so, you simply never know in football, especially against a Bayern side which has proved leaky in defence all season long despite their undoubted attacking excellence.

Bayern Munich Champions League form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

Bayern Munich form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Lazio Champions League form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L

Lazio form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W


Team News

Bayern Munich's Corentin Tolisso pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Bayern remain without Corentin Tolisso, Douglas Costa and Tanguy Nianzou through injury.

David Alaba missed Saturday's trip to Bremen with a knock and may not be risked against Lazio given the margin of Bayern's lead, while Leroy Sane should start having only been used from the bench at the weekend.

Having pushed for more game time, meanwhile, Alexander Nubel is likely to receive a rare start in goal with Manuel Neuer rested.

Lazio, meanwhile, are likely to travel to Munich without Manuel Lazzari and Luis Felipe due to injury.

Adam Marusic should deputise at right wing-back, with former Southampton defender Wesley Hoedt pushing for a start in defence.

Bayern Munich possible starting lineup:
Nubel; Pavard, Boateng, Hernandez, Davies; Kimmich, Goretzka; Sane, Muller, Gnabry; Lewandowski

Lazio possible starting lineup:
Reina; Patric, Hoedt, Acerbi; Marusic, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Alberto, Fares; Correa, Immobile


SM words green background

We say: Bayern Munich 3-1 Lazio

We expect Bayern to get the job done largely in second gear against Lazio on Wednesday, with the Italians needing to score first to have any hope of causing a major upset.

The likes of Lewandowski and Gnabry should simply have too much quality for Inzaghi's side to deal with, with even an under-strength Bayern showing their superiority in the first leg.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


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How you voted: Bayern vs Lazio

Bayern Munich
90.9%
Draw
4.5%
Lazio
4.5%
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CBayern MunichBayern34246499445578
2RB Leipzig34198760322865
3Borussia DortmundDortmund342041075462964
4Wolfsburg341710761372461
5Eintracht FrankfurtFrankfurt341612669531660
6Bayer LeverkusenB. Leverkusen3414101053391452
7Union BerlinUnion Berlin34121485043750
8Borussia MonchengladbachBorussia M'bach341310116456849
9Stuttgart34129135655145
10Freiburg34129135252045
11Hoffenheim341110135254-243
12Mainz 0534109153956-1739
13Augsburg34106183654-1836
14Hertha Berlin34811154152-1135
15Arminia Bielefeld3498172652-2635
16FC Koln3489173460-2633
RWerder Bremen34710173657-2131
RSchalke 04Schalke3437242586-6116

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