Bayern Munich face stern test against Lazio in Champions League

Bayern Munich set to face Lazio in first knock out round of the Champions League. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
Bayern Munich set to face Lazio in first knock out round of the Champions League. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images) /

Bayern Munich will be facing Lazio for the first time in the CL this year.

The Champions League group stages were concluded last week. Bayern Munich got one step closer to defending the title that they won emphatically last season. On Monday, they got to know the opponent in the first knockout hurdle this season. It is going to be an Italian trip as the German Champions were drawn against Lazio.

It is an iconic fixture as Die Roten has not faced Lazio in their Champions League history. The first leg is set to take place at the end of February, while the second leg is set to take place in the first half of March.

Lazio finished second in the CL group that also had  Borussia Dortmund in it. They managed to beat Die Roten’s rivals in the home game and taking one point at Signal Iduna Park. Simone Inzaghi has found the right balance in the attack and defense, making them a dangerous side on their day.

The Italian club has struggled in Serie A this season. However, they could regain their form by the time the knockout tie comes around in February. Inzaghi’s men were involved in an exciting title race last season, losing out in the final stretch of the season.

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Lazio boasts a very good squad that has a good mix of youth and experience. Ciro Immobile was the main man for Inzaghi’s team last season, scoring staggering 36 goals in Serie A. Robert Lewandowski missed out on the golden boot award due to the impressive goal return of Immobile last season.

Bayern also had an impressive group stage campaign in CL as they won five games and dropped points in one game. They dropped points in the away game against Atletico Madrid when Thomas Muller scored a late equalizer. Hansi Flick had heavily rotated the squad in that game as the fate of the group was already decided.

Die Roten is favourite to go through against Lazio, but they certainly need to do better after three quiet weeks in the Bundesliga. Flick needs to bring defensive solidity at the back during the winter break. Bayern has enough in their arsenal to beat Lazio, but the Italian team also has enough quality to get at Die Roten’s vulnerable defense.

Next. Takeaways from Bayern's draw against Union Berlin. dark

There is enough time for CL knockout games. The immediate concern for Flick is Bundesliga. After the disappointing result against Union Berlin, Bayern has a week to prepare for Saturday’s top of the table clash against Bayer Leverkusen.