Champions League: Lazio Host Werder, Milan in UkraineBy: Martha | November 6th, 2007
Today’s Champions League matches are the mirror images of those on the last matchday, when Lazio suffered their first Champions League loss, and Milan went goal-crazy at the San Siro, putting four past Shakhtar Donetsk.
Milan and their supporters will expecting a proper flood of goals today, since this match is in Europe where, according to everyone at the club, teams generously give them the space they need to play, as opposed to the bastards at home who insist on shutting down the midfield. Milan do have a great record away from home, but Shakhtar might have some other ideas: Coach Mircea Lucescu is planning a more “careful” approach than his team showed in the away match, a word that more than hints at a very defensive game plan. Also, despite the thumping in Milan, the Ukrainian side are not exactly easy marks — they’re joint top in Group D with Milan, having beaten both Benfica and Celtic. (But, lest we forget: Ronaldo! Back!)
Lazio, meanwhile, are struggling terribly in Italy, having lost four of their five matches and four straight at home, and are carrying so many injuries that they can hardly field a team once a week, let alone for the league and midweek European matches. The Roman side are bottom of Group C with only two points and really need a win today if they have any hope of qualifying. It won’t be easy, though: Werder are flying, unbeaten in seven domestic matches in a row
and fully healthy. Really, it would probably be better for Lazio if they went out and could just concentrate on domestic matters, but since you’re only allowed to say that about the UEFA Cup, the talk coming out of their camp is all about fight and togetherness.