Lazio – FC Porto Predictions
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Lazio 2-2 FC Porto
Date: 24.02.2022 | Match at: 18:45 | League: EUROPA LEAGUE – PLAY OFFS – 1/16-FINALS | Tip: Over 1.5 Goals | Odds: 1.33 | Bookie: Unibet.
Lazio – FC Porto Match Preview
- Lazio boss Maurizio Sarri has no love lost for the UEFA Europa League (UEL) stating that his side would “already be challenging for the top four” in Serie A if not for this competition. That’s somewhat ironic considering the ‘I Biancocelesti’ are now seeking to overturn a 2-1 first-leg loss versus Porto to keep their floundering season alive as the UEL remains their only realistic chance of silverware.
- That result continued Lazio’s history of poor starts in UEFA knockouts, losing six of their last ten such first-leg matches (W1, D3, L6). Of those six losses, Lazio failed to progress from the tie on three occasions, however there’s positive news in their recent form. That’s because Lazio are currently on a run of four straight UEL home clean sheets and they also hold an unbeaten home UEFA record against Portuguese clubs (W5, D1).
- Currently on an impressive unbeaten competitive run themselves (W13, D1), visiting Porto know that a draw or better will be enough to see them make their first UEL ‘Round of 16’ appearance since 2013/14. A 0-0 scoreline in their only prior away H2H will breed confidence as manager Sérgio Conceição eyes up a first UEL clean sheet for Porto since April 2014.
- Clean sheet aside, there’s a lot of improvement still needed for Porto on the road as they’ve conceded 2+ goals in each of their last seven away UEL knockouts (D2, L5). Slow starts have proven to be their Achilles’ heel during that run, conceding at least once before half-time on each occasion, while failing to score in six of those seven games.
- Players to watch: Luis Alberto has five assists in six previous UEL knockout matches for Lazio, including one during the first leg. Porto’s Toni Martínez scored a brace in the reverse fixture, his first goals in senior European competition.
- Hot stat: Seven of Lazio’s last eight home UEL win/loss results have been by a single-goal margin – five ended 2-1.