Atlético move in for Lazio kill

Club Atlético de Madrid coach Diego Simeone will face his old side again in the round of 32, with S.S. Lazio 3-1 down as they seek a last-16 encounter with SC Braga or Beşiktaş JK.

Koke (left) vies with Lazio's Giuseppe Biava
Koke (left) vies with Lazio's Giuseppe Biava ©Getty Images

Club Atlético de Madrid coach Diego Simeone will look to eliminate his old side in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, with S.S. Lazio needing to overturn a 3-1 deficit to set up a meeting with SC Braga or Beşiktaş JK.

• Miroslav Klose (19) put Lazio ahead in Rome, but Adrián López (25) replied before Falcao (37 & 63) won the game. Falcao set a competition record with 17 goals in last season's UEFA Europa League for FC Porto; he is now up to third in this term's top scorers' standings, with five goals.

Previous meetings
• Sven-Göran Eriksson's Lazio eliminated Radomir Antić's Atlético to reach the 1997/98 UEFA Cup final in the teams' only previous meeting, Vladimir Jugović scoring the only goal 33 minutes into the first leg of the semi-final in Madrid.

• The teams for that Madrid meeting on 31 March 1998 were:
Atlético: José Molina, Frascarelli, Denia, Vizcaíno (José Mari 57), Vieri, Pantić (Paunović 86), Lardín (Nimni 72), Aguilera, Caminero, Prodan, Bejbl.
Lazio:
Marchegiani, Negro, Favalli, Chamot, Mancini (Gottardi 77), Fuser, Nedvěd, Boksić (Casiraghi 66), Grandoni, Jugović, Venturin.

Match background
• Atlético's record in 18 games against Italian sides reads W9 D2 L7 (W4 D0 L3 at home).

• The Rojiblancos played ACF Fiorentina in the 1961/62 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final, prevailing 3-0 in a Stuttgart replay after the first game in Glasgow ended 1-1.

• Atlético beat FC Internazionale Milano 2-0 in the 2010 UEFA Super Cup in Monaco.

• Lazio's record in 17 games against Spanish sides reads W5 D4 L8 (W1 D0 L6 in Spain).

• The Biancocelesti are playing in the spring phase of a UEFA club competition for the first time since 2002/03, when they lost to FC Porto in the UEFA Cup semi-finals.

• Atlético have won their last five European home games, since losing 3-2 to Aris Thessaloniki FC in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Atlético were last in the round of 32 in 2010; they beat Galatasaray AŞ, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Valencia CF and Liverpool FC to reach the final, which they won 2-1 against Fulham FC in Hamburg.

• Lazio beat RCD Mallorca in the final of the 1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in Birmingham, England.

• Lazio have not won in their last three European away games, recording a defeat and then two draws.

Team facts
• Simeone replaced Gregorio Manzano as Atlético coach on 23 December. The former Argentina midfielder had two spells at the club as a player, winning a domestic double in 1995/96. He won the 1997/98 UEFA Cup with Inter and is coaching in Europe for a second time, having helped Calcio Catania avoid relegation from Serie A in 2010/11.

• Simeone played for Lazio from 1999 to 2003, winning the 1999 UEFA Super Cup in his first competitive game and a domestic double at the end of that season.

• Atlético's Mario Suárez turns 25 the day after the game.

• Lorik Cana and Arda Turan were team-mates at Galatasaray last season.

• Diego (2009/10) and Tiago Mendes (2007-09) have both played in Italy for Juventus.

• Abdoulay Konko (Sevilla FC 2008-11), Albano Bizzarri (Real Madrid CF 1999/2000, Real Valladolid CF 2000-06, CF Gimnástic de Tarragona 2006/07), Matuzalem (Real Zaragoza 2007/08), Juan Pablo Carrizo (Real Zaragoza 2009/10) and Lionel Scaloni (RC Deportivo La Coruña 1998-06, Real Racing Club 2006/07, RCD Mallorca 2008/09) have all played in Spain.

• Once a midfield colleague of Fabio Capello's at SPAL 1907, Lazio's Edoardo Reja has been coaching since 1979 but did not make his Serie A debut until 1998 and had to wait another decade for his European bow with SSC Napoli.

Round of 16
• The winners of this tie will take on Braga or Beşiktaş in the round of 16 on 8 and 15 March, playing the first leg at home.

• Lazio have never met Braga but took on Beşiktaş in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup quarter-finals, winning 1-0 in Rome, then 2-1 in Istanbul. They also met in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League group stage, winning 2-0 away and drawing 1-1 at home.

• Atlético have met neither of their potential opponents in UEFA competition.

Competition statistics
• An updated version of the UEFA Europa League Statistics Handbook is available here:
http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1750416.html

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