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Lazio Should be Backed for Europa League

Posted on | February 1, 2018 | No Comments

There are lots of reasons to like Lazio right now: They are the top scorers in Italy’s Serie A and have, in fact, outscored most of the top teams in Europe. Their current position of third in the table puts them above their city-rivals Roma and both Milan sides, all of whom have outspent the Biancocelesti in recent times. In Simone Inzaghi, they have a young, exciting manager who puts entertainment and goals at the forefront of his philosophy. In sum, they are a team on the up.

There is an 11-point gap between Lazio and Serie A table -toppers Napoli currently however, so it may not be this season that ends their 18-year Scudetto drought. It seems though, that Inzaghi should be looking another competition to bring cheer to some long-suffering Lazio fans – the UEFA Europa League.

Strong sides remaining in Europa League

There is a narrative among supporters of top clubs that states the Europa League is easy to win should your side give it priority. While there is some modicum of truth in this idea, it is not always the case. Indeed, this season’s Europa League knockout stages arguably the greatest concentration of top sides in recent memory: Atlético Madrid, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli all see themselves as worthy of being in the latter stages of the Champions League, rather than in UEFA’s secondary competition.

Joining those four heavyweights are several other sides who will undoubtedly fancy their chances of making the final in Lyon on 16th May, including AC Milan, Lyon, Villareal, Atalanta, RB Leipzig and, of course, Lazio. The tournament really is stacked with great teams. In terms of betting odds, Atlético are currently 4/1 favourites with Betway Sport, with Arsenal not far behind at 11/2. Dortmund and Napoli are both available at 10/1, but it is Lazio, available at a generous 16/1 with Betway, who really look like the value bet.

Lazio have been given a decent draw in the round of 32, taking on Steaua Bucharest with the first leg in Romania on 15th February. The quirks of the draw have been kind to Lazio too, with Borussia Dortmund v Atalanta, Lyon v Villareal and Napoli v Leipzig ensuring that three of the teams they consider to be rivals will be out of the Last 16.

Some circumstances will, of course, have to continue to fall in the right manner for Lazio. Ciro Immobile, who has looked a player reborn since returning to Italy, must continue his impressive form in front of goal. Inzaghi must also find ways to shore up a porous defence, which could prove a painful deficiency in the latter stages of the competition. The recent signing of Uruguayan international Martin Cáceres will undoubtedly help with that though.

Immobile’s goals have helped Lazio soar

The most crucial aspects for Lazio may just be that they are on of the form sides in Europe at the moment and, unlike Serie A rivals Napoli, they will not be concentrating on a title race. Simone seems to be building a brilliant side out of loan players, misfits and journeymen, but they are fabulous to watch in action and could cap it off with a European trophy in May.

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