Champions League Betting – Lazio at Bayer Leverkusen
Zack GarrisonNo comments
After a 1-0 win at home, Italian side Lazio will head to Germany tomorrow for the second leg of their two-game Champions League (UCL) playoff with Bayer Leverkusen (2:45 PM Eastern at the Bay Arena). The winner of the series (based on aggregate goals) will earn a place in the UCL group stage with 31 of the other top clubs in Europe.
Though they came out on top in the first leg – and didn’t concede an away goal – Lazio manager Stefano Pioli wasn’t completely satisfied with either his team’s performance or the outcome.
“The whole game was difficult and complicated, as Leverkusen press you hard and play the ball quickly. Finally we went back to being a team that can suffer and fight for every ball,” Pioli said to Sport Mediaset. “We won the first leg, but the tie is still wide open”.
For the German side, missing the Champions League group stage would be a bitter pill to swallow. “The Champions League is a different competition from all the others,” said Leverkusen manager Roger Schmidt.
Despite the loss in the opening leg, Bayer Leverkusen have reason to be confident. They have won their first two games in the Bundesliga (2-1 over Hannover 96 and 1-0 over Hoffenheim) and are tied with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at the top of the table. Those results have left Schmidt optimistic going forward.
“I’m sure we’ll go through in the end,” added the manager.
In the trends, Leverkusen have an inconsistent home record against Italians teams (3-1-3), but they have won four of their last five home games in UEFA competitions. Expect them to continue that streak tomorrow.
Pick: Leverkusen -166.