The Champions League draw for the round of 16 stage concluded in Nyon on Monday morning. Bayern Munich are set for a trip to Italy in this draw as they were drawn against Lazio. It will be the second time in three seasons that these two sides will meet in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Bayern were convincing winners against Lazio in 2021. They clinched a comfortable 4-1 victory in Rome before sealing the spot in the next round by winning 2-1 at Allianz Arena. Things have changed significantly for both sides when they last met in the Champions League.
Thomas Tuchel is currently the head coach of Bayern instead of Hansi Flick. The latter was succeeded by Julian Nagelsmann, but he lasted only 20 months in the role before Tuchel took over at the end of March 2023.
Simone Inzaghi has left Lazio to manage Inter Milan. Maurizio Sarri has been managing Lazio since the start of the 2021/22 campaign. Under his tenure, Lazio managed to finish second in Serie A last season. They have played some exquisite football under the Italian coach.
Things have been difficult for Sarri and Lazio in the Serie A this season. They are currently 11th in the points table, seven points behind the fourth position. Lazio have struggled to score goals in Serie A, scoring only 16 goals in 16 games this season.
However, Lazio’s form has been much better in the Champions League. They finished second behind Atletico Madrid with ten points in the Group E. They won three of their six games and lost two games against Atletico Madrid and Feyenoord. (Stats courtesy: FotMob)
Ciro Immobile is the player to watch out for with Lazio. The Italian striker has been in decent form this season, scoring seven goals across all competitions. Meanwhile, Luis Alberto and Felipe Anderson are the chief creators in the final third for the Italian club. Bayern will have to contain these three players to make sure they get clean sheets across two games.
Bayern have enjoyed a serene Champions League campaign until now. They won five out of six of their group games, dropping points only in the home draw against FC Copenhagen on matchday five. They have a quality attack, with Harry Kane being the star man in the final third. The English forward has scored 24 goals for Die Roten in 20 games across all competitions.
The Bavarian club needs to tighten things at the back as they have the poor habit of conceding cheap goals. Considering the form of both teams, Bayern will be overwhelming favourites to beat Lazio in both games and move into the quarter-finals of the competition.
The first leg of the round of 16 will take place in Rome on February 13, while the return will take place on March 5 in Munich.