As the Europa League returns, what are Lazio’s chances of winning?
The UEFA Europa League returns this week, with the first knockout round taking place in two legs across the next couple of weeks. Lazio are due to play Sevilla at the Stadio Olimpico in the first leg on the 14th February, before travelling to Spain for the second leg on Wednesday the 20th of February. Therefore, by the end of the month, we will know if Lazio will play in the last 16 of the tournament.
The Europa League has been full of surprises this year; from AC Milan failing to make it into the knockout phase, to the emergence of Napoli and Inter Milan as two of the sides dropping down from the Champions League, having failed to make it out of their group in that particular tournament.
Lazio, if they are to think about the dream of winning the tournament, must first cope with Sevilla; who promise to be a tricky test. Sevilla, as per WhoScored, have the joint fourth highest amount of goals from open play in the group stage of the Europa League. The La Liga side scored 10 goals from open play, 2 from set pieces, 4 from penalties (more than any other team) and 2 own goals, in the group stage. Sevilla have also conceded just 6 goals in the tournament so far, 5 less than Lazio who have conceded 11.
In a survey from AmazingBet, 9% of people think that Chelsea will lift the Europa League trophy in May, 6% think Inter, 5% consider Arsenal, 5% voted Sevilla and 5% Napoli. Lazio are not considered, therefore, amongst the immediate frontrunners for the trophy but it will come down to desire and luck at the end of the day. If the Biancocelesti can progress past Sevilla, Lazio may find their draw for the next round is a little easier – but, unfortunately, beating Sevilla is a task that Inzaghi’s side might not be able to overcome.
The Europa League match between Lazio and Sevilla kicks off at 17:55 GMT on Thursday the 14th of February.