Sparta Praha 1 -1 Lazio
|Date & Time||Thursday March 17, 2016, 1:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Lazio 7/10 Draw 29/10 Sparta Praha 6/1
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Winning here is going to be a massive positive for either Lazio or Sparta Praha. Lazio are having a tumultous season with brilliant perfromances being followed up by poor losses. The Stadio Olympico in Rome on Thursday will be rocking though and the question is can Lazio get a home win that would see them advance to the quarter finals of the UEFA Europa League. Lazio have won all four of their Europa League home fixtures this year and will be looking to make it five on Thursday. Miroslav Klose scored twice at the weekend and will be a key man for Lazio if they are to advance here. Felipe Anderson looks a quality winger and has been arguably Lazio's best player this season his continued improvement year on year has seen him linked with moves to Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madird but without anything developing as of yet. Candreva, Keita and Matri will also be key figures for Lazio who have won four of their last six home games in all competitions.
Sparta Praha come to Italy in good form the Czech side have been very consistant in the Europa League all season and are one of the only unbeaten sides left in the competition. This is a tough ask for them to go to Italy and win but it is not inconceivable that Sparta could manage a 1-1 draw here that brings this one into extra time. The key men up front for Spart will be Fatai and Lafata who between them have twenty goals in the league. Sparta will play a defensive set up here opting probably for a 4-5-1 which has proven to be very successful for them all season.
This one is an interesting game and is really finely balance. Sparta are unbeaten in the Europa League as previously mentioned with three draws and two wins on the road. Lazio have won all four of their home games in the Europa League this season. Someone's record is going to go but the question is who's? For me Lazio are probably just slightly the better team and given that they have home advantage at the Stadio Olympico I think that they should probably just have enough to get the job done. The problem though for me on this pick is that the odds seem too tight at 13/20. While I appreciate that Klose, Candreva, Matri and Anderson should be able to provide a platform for Lazio to get through I cant trust them at these odds. A different bet and one that I do really like here is the overs in Lazio's corner count. In the away leg Lazio managed seven corners and their number in this one is 5 or more, I think Lazio should easily cover this and at evens this is my play.