This weekend’s round of fixtures across Europe saves one of the best for last as two of Italy’s sleeping giants collide in what could be a crucial battle in the race for Europa League qualification. It’s Lazio v A.C Milan, and it should be a cracker.
Lazio Looking To Remain Favourites For Fourth
The battle for Europa League qualification in Italy is intensifying by the week as no less than five teams will consider themselves genuine contenders for a fourth or fifth-placed finish. As it stands, Simeone Inzaghi’s men are in great shape to secure one of those spots. However, a win against Milan may even renew their hopes of catching Napoli and Roma for a shot at the Champions League.
Biancocelesti have been particularly impressive on home soil, winning eight of their 12 Serie A matches while netting 21 times in the process. Ciro Immobile, meanwhile, has rediscovered his scoring boots after a couple of difficult seasons and now looks settled and ready to cause problems.
The hosts will be particularly determined to bounce back in style after losing their last home game to Cheivo, but competitive wins over Inter and Pescara should give them confidence. However, a run of three head-to-head defeats against A.C, including September’s 2-0 loss at the San Siro will be a cause for concern.
Nonetheless, they are more than capable of putting in a big performance at the Stadio Olimpico. If they do, their bid for Europa League – and maybe even Champions League – football will look stronger than ever.
Can Visitors Continue Their Recovery?
A disastrous second part of January saw Vincezo Montella’s men lose ground in the league and drop out of the Coppa Italia, but Wednesday’s win at Bologna has got them back to winning ways. If they can pick up three more points from their trip to the capital, a top five finish could be back on the cards.
In fact, it would see them joint Lazio on 43 points, which would signal a great recovery after a difficult few weeks. While they will be under no illusion about the difficulty of the task at hand, last season’s 3-1 victory – along with that win in the reverse clash – will be a huge source of inspiration.
The Rossoneri aren;t short of attacking quality either as Carlos Bacca, Gerard Deulofeu and Suso are all capable of goals. At the other end, Gianluigi Donnarumma continues to demonstrate his class, even when his defence lets him down.
Whichever way the contest goes, it will be significant to the race for a top five finish.
Lazio v A.C Milan Betting
With home advantage on their side, Lazio have been made the ¾ pre-match favourites with Unibet while the draw is priced 11/4. Alternatively, if you fancy A.C Milan to pick up another away win, they’re available at 15/4.
There’s a lot riding on this one, and neither team will want to give anything away early doors. Should they both keep it tight at the back, it could set the tone for a tactical battle that may be settled by a single moment of magic.
It’s hard to see either side running away with it. With a tight contest predicted, we’re taking under 2.5 goals.
The one thing we do expect to see, however, is corners. Lazio’s matches at the Stadio Olimpico have brought an average of 11.58 corners this term whilst A.C are tracking at 11.14 overall.
It’s a risky outside selection, but we’re sticking out neck out by going for 8/1. Given that the stats suggest a ballpark figure of somewhere between 10 and 13, we think it’s well worth the value.