Celtic is looking to continue their impressive run in the Europa League on Thursday’s fourth round game against their biggest rival in group E, Lazio Roma. The Scottish side has been on an impressive run for the whole season, having lost only once in 17 games in all competitions since being knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers against their now UEL-rivals CFR Cluj. Indeed, Celtic have won six straight, including a remarkable victory over Lazio at home. The Italians might be even tougher nut to crack this time around, in front of their hostile home crowd.
Lazio has been a mainstay on top of Serie A for years, despite not being able to challenge for the throne in a while. Currently “le Aquile”, the Eagles as Lazio’s nickname goes, are fourth in Serie A, fighting tooth and nail for the place in Champions League. Recently they’ve played extremely well, beating AC Milan and Fiorentina on the road, while pounding Torino 4-0 at home. The cunning striker Ciro Immobile has been fantastic throughout the season, scoring 13 goals for Lazio in Serie A, while assisting on four – making him part of 17 out of Lazio’s 24 goals.
In Europa League, Lazio has encountered some unexpected problems. They opened with a narrow 2-1 loss at Romania to Cluj, but took one over Rennes at home in the second round. The third game against Celtic in Scotland was for the Italians to at least collect a point, but the brave Scots prevailed at the eleventh hour by late winner headed in by center half Christopher Jullien. Lazio is third in the group and are desperate for points in order to keep on chasing the qualification.
The Celtic have had their problems domestically, despite the respectable record and the top spot in the league. Bad spell of two games caused them to drop points against Hibernians and Livingston, which allowed Rangers to match their point total on top of the Scottish Premiership. Celtic started their Europa League campaign after the bitter loss in UCL qualifications by drawing with Rennes in France, but then went on to beat Cluj and Lazio at home. There’s not much more to ask from Neil Lennon’s men leading the group, but snatching a point from Rome would put them in a perfect position in order to qualify for the knockout stages.
Lazio vs Celtic (1×2): 1.58 – 3.75 – 4.60
Europa League Winner – Celtic: 67.00
Europa League Winner – Lazio: 34.00