Lazio vs Athletico Madrid: Champions League match preview

Last Updated on 18/09/2023 by

Lazio and Atletico Madrid will meet at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on the evening of Tuesday to play a high-profile match that will kick off Champions League Group E.

Atletico Madrid are regulars in the top club competition on the European continent, but they were knocked out of the competition in the group stage the previous year. This is in contrast to the hosts, who have not been among Europe’s best since 2021.

Lazio vs Athletico

Lazio was rewarded for their consistency at the conclusion of the previous season as they crept past several other contenders to finish as the distant runners-up to Italian champions Napoli. This secured Lazio’s return to the Champions League after they had dabbled in both the Europa League and the third-tier Conference League. Lazio was rewarded for their consistency at the end of the previous season.

The team coached by Maurizio Sarri established their success on multiple clean sheets and the coach’s customary possession-based ideas, but they have gotten off to a less remarkable start to the 2023-24 campaign.

Lazio currently sits in last place in Serie A with just three points after four matches, and they have given up close to two goals per game on average. This brings them into a much-anticipated Group E campaign, in which their competitors for a top-two finish will be Celtic, Feyenoord, and this week’s visitors Atletico Madrid.

In a strange turn of events, the Biancocelesti started the season off with consecutive losses to Lecce and Genoa before upsetting the current Scudetto leaders in Naples right before the break for international competition. However, upon their return to competition over the weekend, they were handed another humiliating loss.

A journey to Turin culminated in a 3-1 loss for Lazio, two weeks after summer signing Daichi Kamada scored a merited winner against Sarri’s old club Napoli. Juventus rushed into a two-goal lead before the half-hour mark, and Luis Alberto’s exquisite second-half strike proved to be only a little consolation for Lazio.

They must immediately shift their focus to matters pertaining to the Champions League, and they will strive to at least recreate their most recent experience in Europe’s premier club tournament, which took place during the 2020-21 season. During that season, Lazio advanced past their group stage before being eliminated by Bayern Munich in the round of 16.

At the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday night, former Scudetto-winning midfielder Diego Simeone will lead out Atletico Madrid, the club he has since become identified with, which will be welcomed back by the infamous fans of the home side.

Despite the fact that these two clubs have not competed against one another in the UEFA Champions League for the past 11 years, Diego Simeone will always have a special place in his heart for those games. In his very first match as a coach in the competition, Simeone led Atletico Madrid to a victory over the club with which he had won the Serie A and Coppa Italia double as a player.

Atletico Madrid was able to win the Europa League at the end of that season, but they have not been able to win the Champions League despite making multiple valiant attempts. Their most notable failures came in the finals, when they were defeated by their city rivals Real Madrid in both 2014 and 2016.

Now, Los Colchoneros have their sights set on a fourth overall participation in the championship game; yet, they do so on the heels of a result that came as an unexpected and disagreeable surprise.

Just before the international break, Simeone’s team had beaten Rayo Vallecano 7-0, which was Atletico’s largest ever victory away from home in La Liga. However, their next match against Sevilla had to be postponed because of a conflict involving Spain’s national team. However, they kicked off their season with a stunning loss of 3-0 to Valencia on Saturday, which may give some questions ahead of their return to the Champions League.

Atletico Madrid finished last in their group in the previous season, casting a shadow on the long-term future of manager Diego Simeone. With the Madrid derby coming up the next weekend, the coming days could prove to be key in establishing the tone for the upcoming months.

Lazio Team News

After keeping the same starting lineup for the games against Napoli and Juventus, Lazio head coach Maurizio Sarri may decide to make some adjustments to his starting XI on Tuesday because the squad should have its full complement of players available.

Therefore, Sarri could play summer addition Matteo Guendouzi in the central midfield position. Guendouzi, a former player for Marseille, has been striving for his first start since joining Chelsea on loan for the current season.

Ciro Immobile, who also plays for Italy and is a colleague of Mattia Zaccagni, serves as the captain of the home team up front and is the focal point of an offensive trio that should also include Brazilian winger Felipe Anderson.

Possible lineup for Lazio :

Provedel, Marusic, Casale, Romagnoli, Hysaj, Daichi Kamada, Guendouzi, Luis Alberto, Anderson, Ciro Immobile, Zaccagni

Athletico Team News

In contrast to their guests, Atletico are struggling with a number of injuries early in the season. Following their defeat to Valencia over the weekend in the La Liga match, it was revealed that Thomas Lemar may be sidelined for a number of months after sustaining a catastrophic injury to his Achilles tendon. Atletico’s injury woes come in stark contrast to those of their hosts.

As a result of Diego Simeone not being able to use the midfield pairing of Koke and Rodrigo De Paul, Pablo Barrios may continue to play the role of holding midfielder for the visitors.

Rodrigo Riquelme replaced in for Yannick Carrasco on the left side on Saturday after Yannick Carrasco left for Al-Shabab. However, either Javi Galan or Samuel Lino might replace Riquelme on the left flank at Stadio Olimpico. In the meanwhile, the attacking duo of Alvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann should be utilized.

Possible lineup for Athletico :

Jan Oblak, Molina, Azpilicueta, Witsel, Savic, Galan, Saul, Barrios, Llorente, Griezmann, Alvaro Morata


Milan vs Newcastle United: Champions League group stage match preview

Roma 7-0 Empoli: Romans run riot at Olimpico

Genoa 2-2 Napoli: Champions made a comeback for draw

Leave a Comment

Share via
Copy link