Atletico Madrid v Lazio 20:05 Thurs
Atletico Madrid’s chances of advancing to the Europa League Round of 16 look healthy as they head into their home tie against Lazio already holding a 3-1 lead as predictably they are odds on favourites with Ladbrokes to progress to the next round of the competition.
Adrian Lopez and a Radamel Falcao brace made sure that the Madrid outfit go into their second leg in a significantly comfortable position, despite Miroslav Klose opening the scoring for the then home side.
With three away goals already under their belt, Diego Simeone’s side can enter the match with the knowledge that good defence, and not attack, will see them through to the competition’s next stage.
The Madrid outfit are unbeaten in their last eight outings across all competitions, making for a promising ninth addition when they host their Italian counterparts on Thursday, but they will be without Antonio Lopez and midfielder Arda Turan, together with Diego, who is out with a muscle tear.
Los Indios sit in sixth position in the Primera Liga and are still in the mix to attain a Champions League spot at the end of this season as they sit just a sole point off fourth spot.
Lazio are in considerably worse form than their Spanish opposition and although they sit in fourth in Serie A, the Biancocelesti have won only four of their last ten outings and will need to improve vastly if they are to progress further in the Europa League this campaign.
Edy Reja also has considerable injury worries to contend with as his side travel to the Vicente Calderon with Miroslav Klose and Tommaso Rocchi both out with injuries, which could mean a start for Libor Kozak and 17-year-old Antonio Rozzi.
Team choice will undoubtedly play a significant factor in who leaves the Estadio Vicente Calderon as victors this week, depending on what the respective managers deem as their priorities and what their chances of moving through to the next stage of the competition really are, but Lazio look up against it as they look to recover from a thrashing 5-1 against Palermo last weekend, which dropped them to fourth place in Serie A.
The Italians have not won away in Europe all season and the Biancocelesti will be hoping for an upturn in fortunes at the Vicente Calderon tonight.