Lazio vs Celtic

Lazio will be keen to make amends for another poor Serie A result when they encounter Celtic at the Stadio Olimpico in a potentially crucial Champions League fixture.

Lazio cannot catch a break in Serie A. Under-pressure Maurizio Sarri offered his resignation after ‘I Biancocelesti’ wasted a halftime lead to become the first top-flight club to lose to rock-bottom Salernitana this season (1-2). Going the distance in the Champions League could be the only saving grace for the famous Italian club amid their worst Serie A start in over a decade. It’s not beyond the realm of possibility as they commence this round in second in Group E (W2, D1, L1), albeit only one point clear of third-placed Feyenoord. Playing host to Celtic could improve Lazio’s chances of securing knockout qualification, considering they’ve only lost once in their last 11 home outings in UEFA competition, not to mention going unbeaten in seven straight games at the Olimpico in the build-up to this contest.

Meanwhile, Celtic’s hopes of securing a place in the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since 2012/13 are dead in the water after a disastrous four-game start to their Group E campaign (D1, L3). Defensive frailties have seen the ‘Hoops’ concede 2+ goals in all four Champions League games this season, including a humiliating 6-0 defeat at Atletico Madrid last time out. Brendan Rodgers’ side failed to find respite in domestic action at the weekend, sharing the spoils with Scottish minnows Motherwell in a disappointing 1-1 home draw. That result cannot inspire much confidence around the Celtic camp as the Premiership champions look to defy a dreadful 30-game record in the Champions League proper (W2, D6, L22).

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