Lazio v Nice background

Lazio still have a 100% record in Group K and with six wins in their last seven European home fixtures will be hopeful of maintaining that form against Nice to reach the last 32.

Mario Balotelli after scoring for Nice against Lazio on matchday three
Mario Balotelli after scoring for Nice against Lazio on matchday three ©AFP/Getty Images

A 3-1 win away to Nice on matchday three has put Lazio in charge of UEFA Europa League Group K, with the Rome club knowing that a second victory in a fortnight against their French opponents will seal their progress to the knockout phase as section winners.

Previous meetings
• The first meeting in Nice brought a goal apiece in the first five minutes, with Lazio's Felipe Caicedo quickly levelling Mario Balotelli's strike for the hosts, before a second-half double from Sergej Milinković-Savić gave the Serie A side their third successive victory in the group while ending Nice's perfect start.

• Nice's only previous exposure to Italian opposition had been a pair of 2-0 defeats by Napoli in this season's UEFA Champions League play-offs.

• Lazio's record in 17 encounters with French teams now reads W7 D4 L6 (W4 D2 L2 in Rome).

Form guide
• Lazio have won six of their last seven European home fixtures, the sole exception a 3-0 defeat by Sparta Praha in the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League round of 16. They beat Zulte Waregem 2-0 in the Stadio Olimpico on matchday two.

• Eliminated by Napoli in this season's UEFA Champions League play-offs, Nice had already made their UEFA Europa League group stage debut in 2016/17 but failed to reach the round of 32. They kicked off this group stage with a 5-1 victory at Zulte Waregem – their biggest ever European away win.

• UEFA Cup runners-up in 1998 (and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup winners the following year), Lazio are back in the UEFA Europa League after a one-season absence, having progressed to the last 16 in 2015/16.

• Nice have already played seven UEFA matches this season, which makes it the longest European campaign in the club's history.

Highlights: Nice 1-3 Lazio
Highlights: Nice 1-3 Lazio

Trivia and links
• The journey from Nice to Rome is around 470km.

• The match takes place on Nice coach Lucien Favre's 60th birthday.

• Lazio defender Wallace played in France with Monaco (2014–16).

• Nice defender Dante has completed more passes than any other player in the competition after three matches – 266.

• Nice's Wesley Sneijder played in Italy with Inter from 2009–13, winning the UEFA Champions League – and a domestic double – in his first term.

• Nice's Italian forward Balotelli also played for Inter (2007–10) as well as AC Milan (2013–14 and 2015/16).

• Balotelli and Lazio's Lucas played together at Liverpool (2014–15).

• Suspended for next match if booked: Luis Felipe (Lazio); Balotelli (Nice).

The coaches
• Lazio boss since 2016, Simone Inzaghi represented the club as a forward from 1999–2010, and stayed on to coach the youth teams. He is the younger brother of fellow ex-Italian international Filippo Inzaghi, the pair having initially played together at home-town outfit Piacenza.

• Former Switzerland midfielder Favre has been in charge at Nice since May 2016. He made his name as a coach by capturing back-to-back Swiss titles with Zürich, and subsequently enhanced his reputation with spells in Germany at Hertha Berlin and Borussia Mönchengladbach.