Champions League

Celtic vs Lazio

ODDS: 13.5 Starts 4.10 at 21:00 (GMT+2)

Celtic vs Lazio

Champions League starts at 21:00 (GMT+2)

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Following contrasting fortunes on the opening matchday of the Champions League, Celtic and Lazio are set to clash at Celtic Park on Wednesday, both eager to secure their first Group E victory.

Celtic, the Scottish champions, suffered a meltdown during the second half of their defeat to Feyenoord in their Champions League opener. They conceded a crucial goal from a free kick just before halftime at Feyenoord’s De Kuip and later went down to nine men in Rotterdam, ultimately losing 2-0 against the Dutch champions. This marked their 37th game in Europe’s top club competition with just one clean sheet. Coach Brendan Rodgers emphasized the importance of home form for their chances in the competition, as they aim to end their 10-game streak without a group-phase win at Parkhead.

Recent history has not favored Celtic at home, with eight losses in their last 10 home matches in the Champions League and no clean sheets in their last 15 games as hosts. Rodgers has managed just two wins in his 19 Champions League games so far. However, their performance in the Scottish Premiership remains strong, as they continue their quest for a 12th domestic title in 13 seasons.

Celtic had previously faced Lazio and emerged victorious in both encounters in the 2019 Europa League, winning 2-1 at home and away. Rodgers hopes to replicate that success on Wednesday.

On the other hand, Lazio secured a dramatic draw against Atletico Madrid in their opening Group E fixture. Goalkeeper Ivan Provedel became the hero with a late equalizer, extending Lazio’s unbeaten streak in the group phase to seven matches. Despite their impressive performance in Europe, Lazio has struggled away from home, winning just one of their last 16 away games in the competition and failing to win any of their last nine.

In domestic competitions, Lazio has started the 2023-24 campaign poorly, winning only twice in all competitions and currently lagging behind in Serie A. Star striker Ciro Immobile has been out of form, and their defense has been vulnerable, providing hope for Celtic.

Celtic will be without Gustaf Lagerbielke and Odin Thiago Holm due to suspensions from their red cards in Rotterdam, and Nat Phillips may replace Lagerbielke in defense. Joe Hart will return as the first-choice goalkeeper. Liel Abada is the most notable absentee due to a thigh injury.

Lazio’s integral defender, Alessio Romagnoli, should feature with a protective mask despite a broken nose. Maurizio Sarri may make changes in midfield, considering the rotation of resources. Captain Ciro Immobile is expected to return after a cameo appearance, leading Lazio’s attacking trident, with Taty Castellanos dropping out.

Possible Starting Lineup:

Celtic: Goalkeeper: Hart Defenders: Johnston, Phillips, Scales, Taylor Midfielders: O’Riley, McGregor, Hatate Forwards: Maeda, Furuhashi, Palma

Lazio: Goalkeeper: Provedel Defenders: Marusic, Romagnoli, Casale, Hysaj Midfielders: Kamada, Vecino, Alberto Forwards: Anderson, Immobile, Zaccagni

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