Lazio vs FC Porto Predictions
The tie is perfectly poised, heading back to Italy between Lazio vs FC Porto, with the traveling Portuguese giants holding a slender 2-1 advantage. But, will home advantage be crucial for Maurizio Sarri’s side?
A place in the round of 16 will be the reward for the side that manages to come out on top in a crucial second leg at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday.
It has been an extremely long time since Lazio has claimed success on the continent. Their most recent success came back in 1999 as they won the UEFA Super Cup, which came just a month after winning the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup. This season could be their perfect opportunity to end that wait, as the Italian giants have been in excellent form.
The experience of their manager could be crucial to their chances in this second leg, as Sarri’s first major honor came in the Europa League when he won in the 2018-19 season during his ill-fated time with Chelsea. There would be concern regarding Lazio’s home form in Europe coming into this fixture.
THE EAGLES LAST GAMES
The Eagles have won just once in three fixtures at the Stadio Olimpico in the Europa League this term. They were held to 0-0 draws against both Galatasaray and Marseille, which certainly shows a lack of attacking threat against Europe’s most established sides.
The advantage is very much with the traveling side this week. In another Lazio vs FC Porto game, FC Porto claimed success in their home fixture seven days ago, with Toni Martinez netting a brace as they came from 1-0 down to win 2-1.
In truth, there may have been disappointment regarding the narrow advantage they currently hold. Porto dominated the first leg in Portugal and had 21 shots in total. They can’t afford to be that wasteful in front of goal in the second leg.
Porto dropped into the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group in the first half of the season. They did well to seal that spot, as they finished a point clear of AC Milan.
However, they are yet to win on the road in Europe this season. They were held by both Atletico and AC Milan and lost 2-0 at Anfield against Liverpool.
The Portuguese giant’s domestic record certainly shows how good of a side they are. They are yet to lose in 23 fixtures this season and currently sit six clear of Sporting Lisbon. However, transferring domestic form to European competition has been problematic for Porto in recent years.
Those looking for an interesting betting angle may be interested in Lazio’s record against Portuguese opposition. They have never lost against a team from the country in a home fixture in six previous meetings.
HOPES FOR PORTO
The only game that they failed to win was against Porto in the 2002-03 season, which ended with the Portuguese side winning the competition.
However, Porto is winless in their last nine fixtures in Italy, losing on six occasions. Lazio has also progressed from three of their last five European ties after losing the first leg by one goal away from home. Those stats could open some value on the Lazio (-1) betting selection, which is currently +333.
All of the stats and trends point to a clear win for Lazio on Thursday. However, the first goal in the game could be crucial. Porto finding the net first could be the security they need to reach the next round.
However, I still fancy the chances of the Serie A giants making it, though, which is currently a +175 chance.