Two of Europe’s biggest clubs meet in Rome on Tuesday night to mark the start of the Champions League, with Lazio welcoming Borussia Dortmund to the Stadio Olimpico at 8pm.
The Italian side return to Europe’s premier knockout tournament after a 12-year absence having finished fourth in Serie A last season. Simone Inzaghi sat back and watched his younger brother, Filippo, win this competition twice as a player, and he will be hoping to have a similar impact at managerial level.
Dortmund reached the round of 16 last term and were leading eventual finalists PSG in the first leg, but an emphatic turnaround from the French club sealed BVB’s fate in the return leg. They will now be hoping to end a run of three defeats on the road in this competition.
These two sides have met previously in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup quarter-final, with Dortmund progressing after two legs, but can Lucien Favre take inspiration from Ottmar Hitzfeld’s side all those years ago? Or will Lazio mark their return with a crucial opening win?
Where to watch Lazio vs Dortmund on TV:
- UK: BT Sport Extra 2
- US: CBS All Access
Where to live stream Lazio vs Dortmund:
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Lazio & Dortmund’s previous line-ups:
- Lazio (vs Sampdoria): Strakosha; Patric, Acerbi, Hoedt; Parolo, Milinkovic-Savic, Lucas, Alberto, Anderson; Caicedo, Correa.
- Dortmund (vs Hoffenheim): Hitz; Piszczek, Hummels, Can; Meunier, Dahoud, Witsel, Passlack; Sancho, Reyna, Brandt.
Ciro Immobile is expected to return for Lazio after missing the weekend defeat to Sampdoria due to a Serie A suspension. However, Inzaghi is likely to be without quartet Senad Lulic, Andreas Pereira, Silvio Proto and Stefan Radu.
For Favre, Lukasz Piszczek picked up an injury and had to be withdrawn in the first half against Hoffenheim last time out.. The experienced defender joins Marcel Schmelzer, Nico Schulz, Dan-Axel Zagadou and Thorgan Hazard on the sidelines.
Players to watch:
- Lazio: It has been a tough start for Lazio in Serie A after such a promising campaign last time out. Heavy defeats to Sampdoria and Atalanta have compiled the misery in Rome and Inzaghi needs a confidence-boosting performance to provide his side with some impetus going forward. He will therefore welcome the return of Ciro Immobile, who missed the 3-0 loss to Sampdoria after picking up a red card against Inter the game prior. The Italian forward netted four goals in the 2014/15 Champions League group stages for Borussia Dortmund, and Inzaghi will be hoping his clinical marksman can rediscover that European form and haunt his former club when they welcome the Ruhr district giants on Tuesday.
- Dortmund: Immobile netted a quite ridiculous 39 goals in all competitions last season and was directly involved in 47 goals in 44 matches. Such form could have helped Dortmund challenge more aggressively for the Bundesliga title last term, particularly after Bayern’s wobble at the start. But, regrets about Immobile’s short time at Dortmund were completely cast away midway through the campaign when a certain Erling Braut Haaland joined the club. The Norwegian has been in excellent form since putting on the yellow and black jersey, and enters this match averaging a goal or assist every 50 minutes in the competition. He netted eight in the groups stages last season (then playing for RB Salzburg) and will be eager to resume that form with BVB.
Scoreline prediction: Lazio 1-2 Dortmund
Champions League betting offer: 888Sport
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