It’s Lazio vs Atletico Madrid on Tuesday night as the Biancocelesti feature in their first Champions League encounter since the 2020/21 season at Stadio Olimpico. Maurizio Sarri’s side have not had a good start to the season after finishing in second place last term in Serie A. Meanwhile, Diego Simeone’s side will be looking to bounce back from a 3-0 defeat away to Valencia last time out.
A return to the Champions League could mean that Lazio can get their season back on track. They went unbeaten across their last group stage appearance and won their first two group games that year too. They went on to reach the round of 16 that season. In fact, Lazio are unbeaten across their last 10 European home games during the group stage so could be in line for a good result here.
The Spanish visitors are entering their 11th successive appearance in the Champions League but will be hoping for a much better display than last season as they finished bottom of Group B, winning just one of their six games. They lost all three away fixtures too so Lazio’s impressive home form in Europe looks even stronger in tandem. Atletico have reached the Champions League quarter-finals in six of their last ten attempts.
It truly has been a woeful start to the 2023/24 campaign for Lazio. They have lost three out of their first four games and have picked up just three points. They are yet to keep a single clean sheet thus far and need to start picking up results.
Juventus were in complete control on Saturday as the Bianconeri defeated Lazio 3-1 at Allianz Stadium in Turin. Despite Luis Alberto getting on the scoresheet, the victory was never really in doubt for the hosts. There is much work ahead for Sarri’s side.
The Biancocelesti threw away their lead on the opening day of the season away to Lecce as they conceded two late goals to suffer a 2-1 loss. It was more disappointment in their first home game of the season too as Lazio lost 1-0 at home to Serie A new boys Genoa.
They managed to pull off a surprise triumph away to champions Napoli, though, in a 2-1 win at the Diego Maradona Stadium, proving there is still plenty of quality within the side. Nevertheless, the defeat in Turin over the weekend demonstrates there is a great deal of work ahead.
One To Watch: Luis Alberto
The 30-year-old Spaniard continues to provide the creativity in midfield for Lazio and has two goals and an assist in four Serie A games thus far. He has scored in back-to-back games as well so is entering this one in good form.
Atletico Madrid Preview
Colchoneros have had a mixed start to their La Liga campaign thus far and have picked up seven points from their opening four games. They got off to a good start after defeating Granada 3-1 at Metropolitano Stadium but dropped points away to Real Betis in a 0-0 draw during Matchday 2.
An emphatic 7-0 win away to Rayo Vallecano would follow, with Simeone showing off his side’s attacking prowess. Alvaro Morata and Angel Correa impressed in the comprehensive triumph. However, Atletico were not able to follow that up with a positive result last time out as they were beaten comfortably in a 3-0 loss away to Valencia.
Pressure is on now for Atleti to pick up a positive result here since they will not want to go on a run of back-to-back defeats ahead of a crucial clash with rivals Real Madrid at the weekend. It may be too tempting for them to not keep one eye on that fixture but full focus will have to be on the Olimpico if they are to find a result.
One To Watch: Antoine Griezmann
The Frenchman is certainly the true danger man for Atleti, even though the 32-year-old has managed just one goal contribution so far this term. Nevertheless, Griezmann is the one who makes Colchoneros tick and if he is in form, it will be hard for Lazio to stop them.
Lazio and Atletico Madrid last met in the Europa League back in 2012. They were drawn together in the round of 32 as the Spanish outfit advanced into the round of 16 before eventually going on to win the competition. Atleti won both legs back then, including a 3-1 triumph at the Olimpico. Colchoneros have won their last three successive meetings with the Biancocelesti, going undefeated in their last four. Lazio’s last win came back in 1998.
Lazio vs Atletico Madrid Potential Lineups & Team News
Lazio (4-3-3): Ivan Provedel; Adam Marusic, Nicolo Casale, Alessio Romagnoli, Luca Pellegrini; Daichi Kamada, Danilo Cataldi, Luis Alberto; Felipe Anderson, Ciro Immobile, Mattia Zaccagni
The hosts should have a clean bill of health ahead of this one with no injury concerns. We could see an unchanged side named by Sarri, however, Luca Pellegrini could come in after replacing Elseid Hysaj at half-time against Juve.
Atletico Madrid (3-5-2): Jan Oblak; Stefan Savic, Axel Witsel, Mario Hermoso; Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Llorente, Pablo Barrios, Saul Niguez, Nahuel Molina; Antoine Griezmann, Alvaro Morata
The visitors are without a host of names for this one. Thomas Lemar is out due to an Achilles tendon issue, whilst the likes of Koke, Memphis Depay, Rodrigo de Paul, Caglar Soyuncu, Vitolo and Reinildo Mandava are also absent due to their respective injuries.
Lazio vs Atletico Madrid Prediction
It’s a hard game to predict since Lazio have got off to a poor start in Serie A and Atletico are without a number of key players. The Italian side’s strong home form in Europe will bode well for them but Atleti are favored in terms of the head-to-head. A draw seems to be the most likely result but Sarri has pulled off plenty of surprises in the past.
Lazio 1-1 Atletico Madrid