The Stadio Carlo Castellani hosts Empoli vs Lazio in Matchday 1 of the 2021/22 Serie A.
In the 22 times that the two clubs have played each other in the top flight of Italian football, I Biancocelesti have won on 13 occasions, Gli Azzurri have won on four occasions and there have been five draws.
When playing at home, Empoli has a record of 4W-4D-3L against Lazio.
Empoli Team News & Expected Starting Lineup
It has been an eventful summer for Empoli as they have made significant changes to their squad, starting with their manager. Ex-manager Alessio Dionisi, had a remarkable season last year as his squad played brilliant football. However, with Sassuolo manager Roberto De Zerbi departing to become the manager at Shakhtar Donetsk, Dionisi took the opportunity to take charge of the Neroverdi. Aurelio Andreazzoli has been appointed the new manager of Empoli. This will be his third spell in charge of the club and will look to have his side avoid relegation.
In addition, it has been an active and modest transfer market for Gli Azzurri. Notable signings include loanees Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Patrick Cutrone and Napoli centre-back Sebastiano Luperto, in addition to Lecce central midfielder Liam Henderson.
Lazio Team News & Expected Starting Lineup
It has been an eventful summer for Lazio as they have made significant changes to their squad. After managing the club for five seasons, ex-manager, Simone Inzaghi will not be at the helm this upcoming season. Previous Napoli, Chelsea and Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri has been hired, and he will introduce a brand new style of football that will be more attack-minded.
Lazio finished sixth place last season and will be aiming to return to the Champions League after one season. However, so far, it has been a mediocre summer transfer market for I Biancocelesti. The club has signed Elseid Hysaj following his contract expiry at Napoli, Felipe Anderson from West Ham, talented 16-year-old winger Luka Romero, and Serbian left-back Dimitrije Kamenovic. To add to the mix, Lazio recently struck a deal with city rivals AS Roma to reunite Pedro with Sarri.
However, the transfer market has been difficult due to the now-infamous liquidity ratio, which prevented the club from registering new signings and making moves for other players. Now that the issue has been resolved, the club are expected to provide Sarri with additional depth before the summer transfer market closes.
Empoli’s Player to Watch: Patrick Cutrone
Cutrone makes his return to Serie A after two seasons. The forward, who is currently on loan from Premier League side Wolves, will aim to regain the form that he showed at AC Milan during the 2017/18 season.
The past three seasons have been difficult for Cutrone, as he has featured in 24 matches between three clubs but failed to find the back of the net. However, the Italian striker has shown that he has the ability to score and can make difference in the past, so his recent struggles can not be taken too lightly.
Lazio’s Player to Watch: Raul Moro
18-year-old Raul Moro is set to start in his first Serie A match with Lazio. The winger has impressed Sarri during pre-season and is expected to have a significant role with the club this season.
Moro had a superb season last year for Lazio Primavera as he scored 18 goals and contributed seven assists across all competitions. He is a player to watch out for this season as he has the ability to score key goals and will finally have a chance to prove that he belongs in the top flight with Lazio.
Empoli vs Lazio: Statistics & Facts
Empoli have never drawn a season opener in Serie A (W4 L9), while Lazio have won their last two Serie A season openers without conceding; they have never started three consecutive seasons with victories.
Lazio have won five straight matches against Empoli in Serie A. Although Lazio have been the more dominant side in recent seasons, it is important to note that the past five meetings have been decided by two goals or less.
On the defensive end, Lazio have proven to be a formidable side versus Empoli. In five of the past seven meetings, the Biancocelesti have maintained a clean sheet.
Empoli vs Lazio: Prediction
Empoli 0-1 Lazio