Having finished third in Group F of the Europa League, Lazio have dropped down to the Conference League, and they recently came through a stern knockout play-off tie against Cluj to set this contest up. AZ topped their group in the Conference League earlier this season and subsequently bypassed the play-off round.
A past Europa League winner with Chelsea, Maurizio Sarri was unable to replicate that feat this season with Lazio, but the former banker turned manager will be eyeing up further continental success in this competition. His side are flying high in Serie A in third, so have the confidence heading into Tuesday’s match-up.
London-born Pascal Jansen oversaw a near-flawless group-stage campaign for AZ, winning five of their six games. As group-toppers, the Dutch club were able to move straight into the last 16, but history does not point favourably to their success in knockout-round football. In fact, AZ are winless in their last nine European knockout matches, the longest ever such run in their history.
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Lazio vs AZ match stats
AZ have so far scored the joint-most headed goals in the Conference League this season (five, alongside Fiorentina), with all five of those finishes coming from different players. Dani de Wit has been AZ’s most potent force, with the midfielder netting on three occasions in the Europa Conference League this season.
Lazio were porous in the Europa League groups, conceding 11 goals in just six games, but in their play-off tie against Cluj they were watertight. Sarri’s men kept a clean sheet in both matches against the Romanian outfit, and faced just one the single shot on target in both legs. It was a supreme defensive display.
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