Champions League Tips: Lazio should win overdue group-stage ticket

Keita Balde emerged from the bench to fire Lazio's winner in the first leg
Keita Balde emerged from the bench to fire Lazio's winner in the first leg

Lazio will avoid defeat at Bayer Leverkusen and Sporting Lisbon will score at CSKA Moscow, says Michael Lintorn...

"Lazio are undefeated in four continental away days and have lost just one in 11, winning two-legged ties against Borussia Monchengladbach and Stuttgart in the 2012/13 Europa League."

Recommended Bet: Lay Bayer Leverkusen to win @ 1.664/6

All games are on Wednesday at 19:45

Bayer Leverkusen 1.654/6 v Lazio 6.05/1; The Draw 4.216/5
Live on BT Sport Extra 2

Lazio have been waiting eight years for a chance to compete in the Champions League group stage again and they haven't ambled around passively waiting their turn, they have been pushing and pushing, only to be turned away with the entrance in sight on countless occasions.

They finished fifth in 2010/11 when Serie A boasted a four-team entry, and then fourth in 2011/12 once their invites had shrunk to three, before messing up a similarly promising position in 2013/14. Last term looked like being the latest near miss, yet a captivating 4-2 final-day win at Napoli presented this opportunity.

The temptation is to assume that they will find a way to screw it up once more, but they are in the ascendancy after a 1-0 first-leg victory in which they soaked up heavy pressure, and the statistics are in their favour.

Whereas Bayer Leverkusen were beaten to nil in three of their past seven Champions League home games, Lazio are undefeated in four continental away days and have lost just one in 11, winning two-legged ties against Borussia Monchengladbach and Stuttgart in the 2012/13 Europa League.

Some of their finest performances of 2014/15 came on the road. In addition to the aforementioned 4-2 thriller at Napoli, they prevailed at fellow European hopefuls Fiorentina (2-0), Palermo (4-0), Sampdoria (1-0) and Torino (2-0) and led both Roma and Inter 2-0 before settling for 2-2 draws.

The Biancocelesti triumphed at Torino, AC Milan and Napoli in the Coppa Italia too, with Cesena and Juventus their only conquerors in 16 on their travels. Their away record since mid-February reads P9 W7 D1 L1, so avoiding defeat in Leverkusen shouldn't prove beyond them.

Recommended Bet: Lay Bayer Leverkusen to win @ 1.664/6


CSKA Moscow 2.226/5 v Sporting Lisbon 3.613/5; The Draw 3.65
Live on BT Sport Extra 3

Sporting Lisbon spent the summer completing one of the managerial moves of the millennium in persuading the best coach in the Primeira Liga to leave more successful neighbours Benfica to take charge at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

Having a three-time league champion and two-time Europa League finalist in the dugout has brought about instant rewards, most notably the 1-0 Supertaca win over Benfica and 2-1 result in the first leg of this tricky play-off tie.

Their prospects of seeing the lead out are boosted by a sequence of a dozen successive Champions League away matches without being shut out, scoring five times abroad in the group stage last season as they gave Chelsea and Schalke a fright.

Sporting have also gone ten fixtures without a clean sheet in the competition, indicating that another helping of both teams to score is likely to be served up at Arena Khimki.

Recommended Bet: Back both teams to score @ 1.728/11

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open account using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn We'll Refund You £/€20 If the Bet Loses
Bet now

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles