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Champions League: Atletico Knocking on Rome’s Gates

Lazio vs Atletico Madrid

Europe’s best of the best are set to clash once again as the UEFA Champions League 2023-24 is set to kick off this week. Fans around the world will be graced with competitive football from Europe’s best clubs as early as the group stages. One notable matchup will be between Lazio and Atletico Madrid.

Atletico Madrid have reached the prestigious tournament’s finals on three different occasions, but fell short every time. They are looking to bounce back after a dramatic exit from last year’s Champions League tournament, where they were eliminated by Bayer Leverkusen in the group stages.

Atletico have never gone out at the group stages in consecutive campaigns before, so expect Diego Simeone’s club to be motivated to blaze through this year.

Lazio on the other hand, are unfamiliar with being eliminated in the first round of group stages. They were sent packing early in three consecutive Champions League appearances back in 2001-02, 2003-04, and in 2007-08. To their credit, they were undefeated in group stages in 2020-21, where they rallied for two wins and four draws.

Talking Points

Lazio’s woes

The 2022-23 Serie A season was a chaotic one, to say the least. With all the drama surrounding other teams, Lazio quietly climbed the standings, and justifiably finished the season as runner-ups.

Despite having a strong finish during the 2022-23 campaign, Lazio are failing to produce wins at the start of this Serie A season. They have been struggling to get points, losing three out of their first four matches.

In their last outing, Lazio were humbled with a 3-1 defeat versus Juventus. This was when Lazio’s frustrations became evident.

Maurizio Sarri will be desperate to seal a win for Lazio in upcoming Champions League game against Atletico Madrid
Lazio head coach Maurizio Sarri looks dejected after losing 2-1 in Serie A match against Lecce in August

Maurizio Sarri and the club took a strong stance by refusing to conduct post-match interviews. This was a sign of protest as Lazio coach and players believe that Weston Mckennie failed to keep the ball from leaving the pitch prior to Dusan Vlahovic’s opening goal. As per the match official, Mckennie kept the ball in play, which led to the build-up for the first goal of the match. Juventus kept the lead all throughout the match after Vlahovic’s opener.

Even though Lazio have been struggling lately, there are still some bright spots in their game. Interestingly enough, Lazio have been controlling the ball pretty well and have been passing accurately this season. During their match against Juventus, they controlled the ball 64 per cent of the time and had an astonishing 90 per cent passing accuracy. This has been the trend for Lazio in three of their first four matches.

Altetico Madrid lose Thomas Lemar

In the latest Champions League 2023 news, Atletico Madrid await definitive diagnosis on attacking winger Thomas Lemar. The Frenchman was taken off the field on a stretcher right before half-time during their La Liga match against Valencia FC.

The former AS Monaco stud suffered an awkward fall and immediately received medical assistance. Atletico’s medical staff fear a serious injury to his Achilles tendon, so there’s no surprise if Lemar will be sidelined for at least a few months.

Nonetheless, football must go on for Diego Simeone and his Atletico Madrid as they face Lazio in the Stadio Olimpico without the services of Thomas Lemar.

It would be interesting to see what kind of adjustments Simeone will devise to compensate for Lemar’s absence going forward.


This will be the first time these two sides will meet in the UEFA Champions League.

The last time Lazio and Atletico met in any competition was in the 2011-12 Europa League round of 32, where Atletico won 3-1 at Lazio’s home soil in Rome and 1-0 in Madrid.

In recent form, Lazio, in their standard, are struggling in Serie A. The club is currently 15th in the league standings. They’ve only triumphed once in their four outings this Serie A season, and netted a total of just four goals in all of their matches.

UEFA – Champions League
Paris Saint-Germain
Borussia Dortmund

Atletico Madrid, on the other hand, is showing a little inconsistency in La Liga.

After a draw against Real Betis in their first match of the season, Atletico blazed through their next two games against Numancia and Rayo Vallecano. Atletico scored nine goals in those two matches and did not concede a single goal. Although they quickly came back to Earth, as they were humbled by a 3-0 defeat against a persistent Valencia squad.

Betting Tip

The SBOTOP Champions League 2023 odds have this match priced somewhat close, with Atletico Madrid being the slight favorite. Atletico is sensibly priced at 2.38, while Lazio is at 2.86 to win.

Given Lazio’s recent struggles on and off the pitch, it would be smart to side with Atletico in this match. Atletico may be showing inconsistent results in La Liga, but they are not shy when it comes to scoring goals. Atletico, in just four matches in La Liga so far, have netted nine goals, only second behind the league-leading Barcelona.



⭐⭐= €10 (CONFIDENT)


Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.




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