Bayern Munich will return to UEFA Champions League action when they travel to Rome, Italy to face Lazio. Die Roten went undefeated in the group stage to top Group A while Lazio finished in second place in Group F. The first leg of the Round of 16 matchup promises to be an exciting fixture between the two clubs. Here are three things to watch for ahead of Tuesday’s match.
Battle of the top strikers
This match will feature two of Europe’s most prolific strikers. Bayern’s Robert Lewandowksi and Lazio’s Ciro Immobile are among the best in the business when it comes to scoring goals. Immobile was the top scorer in Europe’s top leagues last season when he produced 36 goals in 37 Serie A appearances.
In the current campaign, the Italian striker has scored 14 goals in 21 Serie A appearances. Lewandowski currently leads the Bundesliga with an impressive 26 goals in 21 appearances. Immobile will be a player that will test Bayern’s backline and vice versa with Lewandowski looking to cause trouble for Lazio’s defense.
Lazio recently had trouble containing Serie A leading scorer Romelu Lukaku who scored a brace in a 3-1 win for Inter Milan. Lazio could be in trouble if they allow Lewandowski to have a similar impact in the opening leg. Bayern’s backline has struggled as well in recent matches as they conceded three goals to Arminia Bielefeld and two goals to Eintracht Frankfurt. It could be a goal-filled match if both backlines struggle to contain these two attacking talents.
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Leon Goretzka back in the starting 11?
It’s been just over four weeks since Leon Goretzka last appeared in the starting 11 for Bayern. The midfielder had tested positive for Coronavirus which kept him out of the lineup until this past weekend. Goretzka entered in the second half of the 2-1 defeat to Frankfurt.
The German midfielder had a strong performance after entering the match as he registered four shots and two shot-creating actions. Bayern will certainly benefit from having Goretzka in the starting 11 if he does indeed get the start on Tuesday. He has scored two goals and recorded one assist in four Champions League appearances so far this season.
Another successful trip to Rome?
Bayern’s last trip to Rome went very well as they defeated Roma 7-1 during the 2014/15 Champions League group stage. They will be hoping for another performance full of goals as it will put them in the driver’s seat entering the second leg against Lazio.
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If Bayern can register a couple of away goals and take the victory then it will be a tough task ahead for Lazio to advance. Considering the number of absentees for Die Roten, coming back home with good advantage will take a remarkable effort considering Lazio’s form at home in CL this season.