15 February 2019
Arguably the biggest derby in the first round of the Europa League knockout stage takes place at the Stadio Olimpico as an improving Lazio host the out-of-form Sevilla.
The hosts have gone from two straight defeats to three consecutive successes although both of their last two league triumphs saw them beating their rivals by a goal to nil. Despite the fact the Biancocelesti have won three of their last five competitive home clashes (W3, D1, L1), Simone Inzaghi is concerned about his team’s defensive displays. Before beating Empoli 1-0, the Eagles have failed to keep a clean sheet in ten successive home outings across all competitions, allowing 2+ match goals four times in the process. Another potential worry for Inzaghi is that his players have scored exactly one goal per match three times in their last four home games, with none of them coming inside the opening 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, Sevilla’s outputs in their last three competitive games (D1, L2) suggest it will be a daunting prospect for them to pick up a victory against the tough hosts. What’s more, the Andalusians’ overall performance in 2019 certainly can’t encourage Pablo Machin considering his players have lost five of ten games across all competitions this year (W3, D2, L5). Much more comfortable at home, Los Rojiblancos have achieved just two victories in their last 14 road clashes (W2, D5, L7), as they come into this meeting carrying a frustrating 4-game away losing streak on their backs. A more concerning fact is that Los Hispalenses conceded nine goals in their previous three outings while scoring just three in the process.
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