I was really surprised to see such high odds on home win after Lazio recorded a comfortable win in Germany, despite the fact that this match will be played in front of empty stands. Stuttgart face a really difficult task after losing 2-0 at home, and I don’t think they can avoid defeat in Rome let alone overturn the two-goal deficit.
Even if Vladimir Petkovic doesn’t have such a big squad to choose from, Lazio have been recording excellent results in all three competitions this term and could be in for a very successful season. While qualifying for Coppa Italia final, the Biancocelesti recently slipped from the third place in Serie A, but are still very much in the race for the final Champions League berth. On the other hand, their Europa League campaign has been progressing quite nicely, with the team recording a 5-3 aggregate victory over Borussia M’gladbach after progressing from group stage. Despite the fact that Vladimir Petkovic had fielded an under strength side in the Last 16 stage clash with Stuttgart, Lazio recorded a 2-0 win in Germany, and are now expected to finish the job in the return leg. While the hosts can go through even with a narrow defeat, I am pretty sure they will attempt to win this game regardless.
Stuttgart may have enjoyed a bright start to the season, but the team have been utterly disappointing after the winter break. The Swabians have lost 6 of last 8 Bundesliga games, which is enough to suggest they are largely struggling for form, while the first match against Lazio proved they don’t have what it takes to match the Biancocelcesti at this moment in time. They will have key attacker Vedad Ibisevic back to the side, but after suffering yet another defeat at the weekend and failing to score in the second successive match, the Swabians are certainly in for a difficult task at Stadio Olimpico. The fact they have no choice but to attack in order to overturn a two-goal deficit will only make things easier for very good Lazio side.