Lazio vs Bayern Munich: UCL round of 16 first leg preview

Bayern Munich look to bounce back from the defeat in Bayer Leverkusen when they visit Lazio in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich face Lazio in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday.
Bayern Munich face Lazio in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday. / Marco Rosi - SS Lazio/GettyImages

It was a devastating weekend for Bayern Munich as they lost ground in the Bundesliga title race after a 3-0 defeat away at Bayer Leverkusen. Bayern players were annoyed and disappointed after the poor performance against Xabi Alonso’s team. They don’t have to wait long to get things back on track as the Champions League resumes this week. Bayern are travelling to Italy for the first leg of the round of 16 against Lazio.

Bayern won five of their six games in the group stage, winning the Group A by a canter. Meanwhile, Lazio finished in the Group E behind Atletico Madrid. The Italian club has struggled for form in Serie A, but they are a dangerous side on their day under Maurizio Sarri. Let us look at the team news and possible starting XI for Bayern in a crucial European away game.

Team News

Bryan Zaragoza missed the game against Bayer Leverkusen due to illness. The Spanish winger was back in training on Monday. The 22-year-old winger is fit to make his debut on Wednesday as he travelled with the squad to Italy on Tuesday.

The game against Lazio comes too early for Serge Gnabry. The German winger has been training on the pitch at Sabner Strasse but is still a few days away from training with the team. Konrad Laimer was spotted resuming running on the pitch at Sabner Strasse this week. The Austrian midfielder will need a few weeks to start training with his teammates.

Kingsley Coman is sidelined at least until the end of April after suffering a serious knee injury. Alphonso Davies is also ruled out for this game, while Daniel Peretz and Bouna Sarr are long-term absentees for Bayern.

Predicted Starting XI

Manuel Neuer was a doubt for the game against Leverkusen due to knee problems. He recovered in time to play the game. The German goalkeeper is expected to start against Lazio. After conceding three goals on Saturday, Neuer will be eager to return Munich with a clean sheet on Wednesday.

Tuchel played a back three against Leverkusen. A tactical switch that raised eyebrows. After suffering defeat in Leverkusen, the German coach will revert to the usual back four on Wednesday, with Dayot Upamecano and Kim Min-jae playing in the heart of defense. Noussair Mazraoui will slot in the right-back position, while Raphael Guerreiro will start on the left side of the defense.

The midfield selection from Tuchel will be one to watch on Wednesday. He may have to rely on his most experienced midfielders to get a positive result in Italy. Joshua Kimmich was disappointed after missing out on a place in the starting lineup against Leverkusen. He is expected to return against Lazio and play with Leon Goretzka in the center of the park.

Thomas Muller is also expected to start against Lazio. The German forward will play in the number ten role, while Leroy Sane and Jamal Musiala will occupy the wide positions. Harry Kane will lead the attack for Die Roten on Wednesday.

Bayern Munich Predicted Starting XI


Score Prediction

Lazio 1-3 Bayern Munich

Bayern still concede poor goals, so I am not expecting them to keep a clean sheet against Lazio. They have responded strongly to setbacks this season, so they will be up for it on Wednesday. I am backing Bayern to get an advantage of two goals in the tie before the return leg in Munich at the start of March.