Bayern Munich have been installed as the heavy favourites to beat Lazio in the Champions League on Wednesday after winning the first leg 4-1.
The reigning European champions raced into a four-goal lead in Rome before Joaquin Correa pulled one back for Lazio. Bayern continued to dominate possession from that point and closed out a comfortable victory.
They may hold a large aggregate lead, but they are unlikely to go easy on Lazio in the second leg. If you cast your mind back to last year, you will remember that Bayern beat Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in the last 16 of the Champions League, and then thumped the Blues 4-1 in the second leg. They went on to destroy Barcelona in the quarter-finals before beating Lyon and PSG to be crowned champions of Europe.
Now they are bidding to defend that crown, and they are in formidable form, which does not augur well for Lazio.
The Italian side scraped a 3-2 victory over Crotone – who are rock bottom of Serie A – in their last game, but their recent form has been poor. They followed up the 4-1 defeat to Bayern by losing 2-0 to Bologna, and they were then beaten 3-1 by Juventus.
Lazio are now seventh in Serie A, 19 points behind league leaders Inter Milan. They are unlikely to be playing in Europe next season, so they should make the most of this game against Bayern – but they are unlikely to enjoy a pleasant evening in Munich.
The German team may be struggling in defence, but they have been phenomenal going forward in the last few weeks. They beat Koln 5-1, then overturned a two-goal deficit to beat Borussia Dortmund 4-2 and beat Werder Bremen 3-1 last time out.
Clean sheets have been few and far between for Bayern this season. They have conceded in each of their last six games, and their defensive record is underwhelming. However, it has not really caused many issues, because they are just so devastating in attack.
Star striker Robert Lewandowski has scored 32 goals in just 24 Bundesliga games. Thomas Muller, Serge Gnaby and Leroy Sané are all magnificent forwards, and Bayern have the quality to blow Lazio away once more.
Yet Lazio are decent in attack too. Ciro Immobile needs no introduction, but Correa has looked sharp in front of goal, and Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic provide a great deal of quality in the middle of the park.
Both teams to score has paid off in 20 out of Bayern’s 25 Bundesliga games so far this season, and that could well be the outcome on Wednesday. Lazio drew a blank against Bologna earlier this month, but that was the first time they had failed to score in a game since mid-October.
Both teams to score is priced at 8/13 (1.62) with Betway in this game. It is easy to imagine Bayern securing victory, so a combination of Bayern to win and both teams to score is 7/5 (2.40) with Paddy Power and Betfair.
You can hedge with Bayern Munich to win to nil at 15/8 (2.88) and Lazio-draw double chance at 49/20 (3.45), but – as previously mentioned – Bayern have not kept many clean sheets this season, and Lazio are unlikely to have much joy in Munich.