Lazio lie in wait for Tottenham
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
S.S. Lazio will look to seal top spot in UEFA Europa League Group J as Tottenham Hotspur FC head for Rome looking to take a giant leap towards the round of 32.
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S.S. Lazio will look to confirm their place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as Tottenham Hotspur FC head for Rome in Group J.
• A win will guarantee Lazio first place in the section. Spurs could also qualify with a win, provided Panathinaikos FC either win or draw at home against NK Maribor.
• The sides drew 0-0 in their first meeting on matchday one, with Hugo Lloris keeping a clean sheet in his first game for Spurs, though his opposite number Federico Marchetti was the busier goalkeeper on the night.
• Lazio's 13 games against English sides have ended W3 D4 L6 (W1 D2 L2 at home – W1 D2 L4 in England). The overall tally of results includes a 1-0 win against Manchester United FC in the 1999 UEFA Super Cup, played in Monaco.
• Spurs' eight games against Italian teams have ended W3 D3 L2 (W2 D2 L0 at home – W1 D1 L2 in Italy). They famously reached the final of the inaugural UEFA Cup in 1971/72 after beating AC Milan over two legs in the semi-finals.
• Lazio have not won in their last eight outings against English clubs (three draws and five defeats), a run which stretches back to a 2-1 win at Chelsea FC in the 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League second group stage. They have also failed to score in their last three matches against Premier League opposition.
• Lazio have won five of their last six European home games – including all three this season – with that excellent run broken up by a 3-1 loss to eventual winners Atlético in last season's round of 32.
• Lazio have conceded just twice in six European games this season, and never more than once in a single match.
• Both of Spurs' away games in Group J have ended 1-1. Their only win in their last five away trips in this competition was a 4-0 triumph against Irish semi-professional side Shamrock Rovers FC in last season's group stage.
• Lazio's Michaël Ciani and Spurs' Younes Kaboul were team-mates at AJ Auxerre from 2004-07, though the former spent much of that spell out on loan.
• Lazio's Lionel Scaloni (West Ham United FC, 2006), Mauro Zárate (Birmingham City FC, 2008) and Lorik Cana (Sunderland AFC, 2009/10) have all played in England.
• Lazio midfielder Ederson and Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris were team-mates at OGC Nice from 2005-08.
• Tottenham's reserve goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini played for Lazio in the 1996/97 season, but made just one appearance for the club, as a serious wrist injury put his career on hold. The Italian also represented AC Milan, Como Calcio, AS Prato and ASD Castel di Sangro before moving to England in 1999 to join Chelsea FC.
• Having been an unused substitute in his side's two previous games against Lazio, Cudicini was in goal for Chelsea as they beat the Rome club 2-1 at home and 4-0 away in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League.
• The clubs have a famous former player in common: Paul Gascoigne left Tottenham for Lazio in the summer of 1992. Lazio general manager Maurizio Manzini said of the 45-year-old: "There is always a corner of Tottenham in our hearts. He is a mythical figure for Lazio fans and very popular in general in Italy."
• Lazio's coach since June has been Vladimir Petković, who won a Yugoslavian title as a midfielder with hometown club FK Sarajevo in 1984/85 before moving to Switzerland, where he played at a modest level and coached the likes of AC Bellinzona, BSC Young Boys and FC Sion, as well as moving to Turkey to take charge of Samsunspor.
• Petković took on Spurs with Young Boys in the 2010/11 UEFA Champions League play-offs. His side won 3-2 in the home leg in Berne but were beaten 4-0 at White Hart Lane.
• Tottenham manager André Villas-Boas received his first break in coaching as a teenager from then FC Porto boss Sir Bobby Robson, and later assisted José Mourinho at Porto, Chelsea FC and FC Internazionale Milano, before striking out alone at A. Académica de Coimbra and then leading Porto to a domestic double and the UEFA Cup in 2010/11. A move to Chelsea that summer proved to be ill-fated, but he took charge at Spurs in July 2012.
• Villas-Boas faced Italian opposition in his final European game as Chelsea coach, a 3-1 UEFA Champions League round of 16 defeat at SSC Napoli last season.