Lazio will face Porto in the Europa League playoffs scheduled for February, but what should the club expect?
As analysed by Italian media outlet LazioNews24 yesterday, the Portuguese side are a solid and well-drilled squad, capable of fast and devastating counter-attacks, as AC Milan found out in the Champions League this season.
Whilst Porto do not play a particularly attractive brand of football, the team are set-up in a balanced 4-3-3 with star Luis Diaz impressing up front and veteran Pepe providing the experience and mentality at the back.
Porto are one of the favourites for the Europa League this season and Lazio will need to fight hard in order to overcome the Portuguese side, who also played Liverpool and Atletico Madrid in their Champions League group.
In the Portuguese league Porto currently sit first, tied on points with Sporting. This could be beneficial for Lazio, as a close title fight means that their focus will not fully be on their European commitments.
Considering the nature of Lazio’s 2-1 loss to Sassuolo on Sunday, coach Maurizio Sarri will need to work hard to ensure that the team are better at defending counter attacks and remaining tight between the defence, midfield and attack, giving up little space.