SS Lazio

V

Stadio Olimpico

22/02/2018 | 6:00 pm

FC FCSB

V

Stadio Olimpico

22/02/2018 | 6:00 pm

In a sentence: Lazio host Steaua Bucharest on Thursday, looking to overturn a 1-0 defeat from the first leg.

Last time: Bucharest won the reverse fixture, thanks to a first half goal from Harlem-Eddy Gnohere, very much against the run of play. Simone Inzaghi’s sides defeat came despite retaining 60% of possession and more shots on target.

This time: Lazio are 3/10 to win, Steaua Bucharest 10/1 and a draw 4/1

You might remember: Steaua Bucharest winning the Champions League final against Barcelona in 1986, back when it was known as the European Cup. The match itself ended 0-0 and was concluded on penalties, with the father of Chelsea’s Marcus Alonso missing from the sport for the Blaugrana.

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Team News

Betting Tips & Predictions

Ciro Immobile got back on the goal trail with two in Monday’s win over Verona

A goal to the good, Bucharest will travel to Italy high on confidence, to face a Lazio side that is only just coming through their worst spell of the season. However, the return of the talismanic Immobile will be a major boost to the Roman side, who fielded a second string team in Romania.

Lazio are 3/10 to win on Thursday, and Inzaghi will be hoping that it can be the turning point after a disappointing start to 2018. Having impressed early in the season, have lost their last three consecutive Serie A games, meaning that Europa League success may be their best chance for Champions League football next season.

Steaua Bucharest are 10/1 and in fine form at the moment sitting second in the Romanian league, trailing the leaders by just four points. An early goal for Dica’s side would mean that Lazio would have to score three to qualify, so expect early pressure from Steauau before they settle in to defend.

A draw is 4/1 and would knock Lazio out of the competition. It remains to be seen whether Dica believes his side to defend their slender lead, or whether he will encourage them to push forward. For Lazio, the game has to be all about attacking, and with such a prolific front line, a draw is unlikely.

Ciro Immobile is 6/7 to score against Bucharest having netted his first goals since returning from a hamstring injury in Lazio’s 2-0 win over Hellas Verona on Monday. The striker is Serie A’s leading scorer for a reason.

Gnohere is 5/1 to score anytime, having done so in the reverse leg. The powerful French forward, nicknamed “the Bison” provides the type of threat that is uncommon in Serie A, and will be a constant threat to the Lazio back line.

Match Summary

1

Look out for:

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The Serbian midfielder is once of Lazio’s brightest prospects, and despite failing to inspire the side in the first leg, looked dominant in central midfield. He is 21/10 to score anytime.

2

We fancy:

Lazio to win to nil at 10/11. Inzaghi’s side are amongst the best sides in the Europa League on their day, and Bucharest should be too concerned with defending to score against them.

3

It’s a long shot, but:

Constantin Budescu to score first at 20/1. Steaua’s attacking midfielder has three goals in the Europa League already this season, not to mention six in the league, and is his side’s designated penalty taker.

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Written by Greg Murray

Greg Murray focused on watching football rather than playing it after realising he wasn’t going to be the next Gianfranco Zola. Writing prolifically on Italian football while keeping an eye on the game around the world, Greg has also turned his pen to the aviation industry and the betting market.