Reigning champions Bayern Munich face Lazio as the Uefa Champions League first knockout stage continues on Tuesday night.
The Bundesliga giants took the trophy home to Germany after seeing off Paris Saint-Germain in last year’s final and they’re making their mark again this campaign.
Group A was a cakewalk for the Bavarian club, who rattled up five wins and a draw, not to mention 18 goals in the plus column, to waltz into the knockout phase ahead of Atletico Madrid, Red Bull Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow.
Now they have their eyes on another extended run in the competition, starting at the Stadio Olimpico.
They’ll be doing it without Thomas Muller and Benjamin Pavard after the pair tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.
Boss Hansi Flick looks set to go with Niklas Sule at right back, with Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting a possibility in an advanced central position.
Corentin Tolisso, Douglas Costa, Serge Gnabry and Alexander Nubel are all ruled out by injury for the continental kings.
Lazio nudged their way into the first knockout round despite winning just twice in the pool stage of the Champions League.
The Serie A club did go unbeaten throughout six Group F fixtures, finishing behind Borussia Dortmund but a crucial two points clear of Club Bruges in third, as Zenit St Petersburg finished stone dead last.
Andreas Pereira was ruled out of league action by a fever last weekend and will need to be assessed ahead of the first leg clash.
Luiz Felipe, Thomas Strakosha and Stefan Radu will all be missing for Simone Inzaghi’s underdogs.
There could be a place for Mateo Musacchio at the back, though, with the defender included in the squad for the last 16 and, they hope, beyond.
Lazio vs Bayern Munich: Prediction
Prediction methodology explained: The expected win percentage is based off publicly available odds. For example, if a team’s odds are 2.30, the expected chance of winning is 43%. If the odds are 1.62 the expected chance of winning is 62% and so on. These are accurate at the time of writing but are subject to change. Where there is no value listed, the odds were not available at the time of writing.
Lazio vs Bayern Munich: UCL starting XI prediction
Probable Lazio Starting XI: Pepe Reina, Patric, Francesco Acerbi, Mateo Mussachio, Adam Marusic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Lucas Leiva, Luis Alberto, Senad Lulic, Joaquin Correa, Ciro Immobile.
Probable Bayern Munich Starting XI: Manuel Neuer, Niklas Sule, Jerome Boateng, David Alaba, Alphonso Davies, Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sane, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Kinglsey Coman, Robert Lewandowski.