Created on 2021-02-22 at 22:25 PM
Back on the grand European stage! FC Bayern continue their Champions League campaign in 2021 with the Round of 16 first leg at Lazio on Tuesday evening (live text and Webradio commentary from 3:00 pm ET on fcbayern.com). In their first-ever clash with the club from the Italian capital, Bayern will be looking to put themselves in a strong position for the second leg at the Allianz Arena in three weeks' time (17 March). Check out our preview for everything you need to know about the match at the Stadio Olimpico.
The situation for FC Bayern
The defending champions are currently the benchmark in Europe's premier club competition and haven't been beaten in almost two years now, racking up 16 wins and one draw in that period. And with 16 points and a goal difference of +13, they were also the best team in the group stage of this season's competition. Of course, the men from Munich will want to build on this against Lazio and live up to their role as favourites - even if things haven't quite gone according to plan recently with two games without a win in the Bundesliga. "We know all that's happened in the last few days," said Hansi Flick, but emphasised: "We have an idea of how we play football. We intend to do that again from the word go. I am absolutely confident that the team will put that into practice on Tuesday."
Enjoy the best images from Bayern's final training session before leaving for Rome in our gallery:
The opponents: Lazio
The clash against Bayern ends a long wait for the Laziali - the team from Rome are back in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time in 21 years. "Playing against the best clubs in the world gives you extra motivation. It'll obviously be a very difficult clash," said Lazio striker Ciro Immobile, looking ahead to the match in an interview. Apart from the 30-year-old's goals, the Romans' home form in particular was a cornerstone for reaching the Round of 16. Both of Lazio's group stage wins came at home in the Stadio Olimpico, and they've recently celebrated seven straight wins there across all competitions. But even with home advantage, the Italians still have a lot of respect for the defending champions: "We know we'll need the perfect game if we're to beat them," Immobile revealed.
Lazio warmed-up for the Champions League with a 1-0 win over Sampdoria:
Team news for Lazio vs. Bayern
Half a dozen Bayern players were unable to make the trip to Rome. In addition to Corentin Tolisso (ruptured tendon), who'll be missing for some time, Alexander Nübel (rehabilitative training following an ankle ligament injury), Tanguy Nianzou (rehabilitative training following a torn thigh muscle), Douglas Costa (hairline fracture of the right metatarsal), Benjamin Pavard, Thomas Müller (both self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19) and Serge Gnabry (rehabilitative training after a torn thigh muscle) are still out. There's also still a question mark behind Niklas Süle. "Niklas felt a niggle. It's possible that Joshua [Kimmich] might also play on the right side. But we still have to decide that," explained Flick. After a "day receiving care" (Flick), however, the centre-back was part of the 17-man squad that left for the Italian capital on Monday.
What the coaches say
Hansi Flick: "It's all about being in top form in the Champions League now. These are special games for us and I expect the team to be especially motivated."
Simone Inzaghi (Lazio coach): "The game tomorrow is the highlight of the last five years together with a fantastic group. We want to have a good game and try to have fun. Bayern have won the UEFA Champions League and the Club World Cup. But I'm not focusing on their weaknesses, I'm focusing on my team. We've played in lots of finals along the way, so we know how to approach the game."
Team news, tactics and more: You can watch the pre-match press conference with Hansi Flick and Kingsley Coman ahead of the Lazio clash (with English translation) here:
The referee: Orel Grinfeeld
The Israeli Orel Grinfeeld will take charge of the match on Tuesday evening. The 39-year-old referee has so far officiated in one match involving the German record champions: In the recent group stage, he was in charge for the 3-1 home win against Salzburg. Grinfeeld will be assisted by his compatriots Roy Hassan and Idan Yarkoni, as well as fourth official Gal Leibovitz. Juan Martínez Munuera from Spain and Roi Reinshreiber from Israel will be the VARs.
If you want to know more about the away game at Lazio check out our facts and stats: