Lazio's flurry of goals right after RB Salzburg's equalizer in the first leg at home will have the Romans confident that they can go on and complete the job in the second leg of this quarterfinal Europa League tie in Austria.
Red Bull Arena Salzburg, Wals-Siezenheim, Austria 12 Apr 2018 7:05 pm (GMT)
Key Stat: RB Salzburg might no longer be unbeaten in all of European play this season, but they are still unbeaten at home so far.
Expert Verdict: In an incredibly entertaining five or six minutes in the first leg, this tie changed greatly. Salzburg looked to be firmly in it with a goal to equalize from nothing. Then, at 2-2, Lazio responded in a big way with two quick goals to give them a 4-2 lead after the first leg. Had Lazio only won by one, it would have been a great result for the Austrians, but with a two goal lead, it is going to be very tough to hold back the team from Rome due to their ability to score lots and lots of goals.
Marco Rose will have a full team to pick from for this second leg as he and his side look to come from behind after losing their first European game of the season. They rotated heavily in their loss at the weekend, so we should expect to see the strongest team possible back out there.
It has truly been a magical run from Salzburg this season in Europe, even if it were to end now. Lazio have to keep a very close watch on Valon Berisha. He scored his sixth goal of the campaign, from the spot, in the first leg, to continue his fine form out of midfield. The Kosovo man is also a very big assist threat, so this tie is not over yet given how good this team has been at sticking it to the 'bigger' sides.
Salzburg have two losses, two wins, and a draw in their last five matches:
1-0 loss at LASK Linz
4-2 loss at Lazio (UEL)
2-0 home win vs Wolfsberger
5-0 home win vs Austria Vienna
0-0 home draw vs Borussia Dortmund (UEL)
Defenders:Lainer, Ramalho, Caleta-Car, Ulmer
Midfielders:Haidara, Samassekou, Schlager, Berisha
Simone Inzaghi only has only injury worry of note, and that is to center midfielder Marco Parolo. However, he is expected to be fit enough to play a role, so look for him to do so in this second leg.
With a player like Ciro Immobile around, a game is never truly over. Salzburg have shown to have a pesky streak about them, making teams work extra hard when they wouldn't have been expected to. But Immobile is in outrageous form, and he has a number of high flying options around him. At the weekend, he scored and assisted to keep up his strong form after scoring in the first leg. You simply cannot back against him to score these days.
Lazio have four wins and a draw in their last five matches:
1-2 win at Udinese
4-2 home win vs RB Salzburg (UEL)
6-2 home win vs Benevento
1-1 home draw vs Bologna
0-2 win at Dynamo Kiev (UEL)
Defenders:Ramos, de Vrij, Radu
Midfielders:Basta, Milinkovic-Savic, Lucas, Parolo, Lulic
RB Salzburg now have faced off with Lazio three times. Each of them have been in the Europa League, and the first leg was their first loss. In 2009, they won both times 2-1 against the Italians. That would not be enough to move on here.
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
RB Salzburg are at 23/20 to win, a draw is at 5/2, and a Lazio win is at 9/4.
RB Salzburg are the only team left standing in this year's competition that were their league's champions last year. In addition to that, it looks like they will also be domestic champions this term out of Austria. They have a comfortable gap ahead, despite a loss in their last outing, so they will once again be able to play their best possible team in an effort to once again do the unthinkable. As for Lazio, they are one of the team's with two bullets in the chamber. While having the chance to get to the Champions League via this tournament, they can also do so via Serie A. Right now, they are in third place with just a one point gap over fifth. So a lot of work is left in the remaining seven games in Italy for them.
On home soil this season, Salzburg have been superb. They have not lost a single match in official competition, winning 17 times and drawing seven times in 24 matches. One of those draws was a very impressive one, in the last round, against Borussia Dortmund that helped them go through in a shocker. They have quite an atmosphere in Austria, so they will not be making it easy for Lazio at all when kickoff is upon us.
Meanwhile, Lazio have had a decent run at it away from home this season with 14 wins, three draws, and five losses. They have won three of their last four away matches, having not lost any of them now. They only teams to have beaten them away were either in Europe, or among the top teams in Italy such as Roma, Milan, and Napoli. It takes something special to keep their attack down enough to defeat them.
A draw and over 3.5 goals is at 15/2 via Ladbrokes.
RB Salzburg have been scintillating throughout this run, and they have shown that you don't have to be from the traditional nations to have a chance to win. With that said, they will be throwing everything at the Italians, but it is not going to be quite enough due to Immobile, Anderson, and co.