Bayern Munich have swept all before them in recent months: Lazio are next in theirs and Robert Lewandowski's sights. - © DFL
Bayern Munich have swept all before them in recent months: Lazio are next in theirs and Robert Lewandowski's sights. - © DFL

5 reasons Bayern Munich will beat Lazio in the UEFA Champions League

Bayern Munich's unquenchable thirst for success, Robert Lewandowski's out-of-this-world UEFA Champions League scoring record, and the Bundesliga champions' outstanding supporting cast are just some of the reasons the European title-holders will beat Lazio in their last-16 tie.

>> Click here for Lazio vs. Bayern team news! highlights five reasons why Bayern fans have significant room for optimism that their side will make it into the quarter-finals...

1) Six trophies… and counting

Bayern's 1-0 win over Tigres to lift the FIFA Club World Cup means they have won six successive trophies. It's a haul of silverware that would sate all but the most voracious of appetites for winning. But Bayern have the most voracious appetite for winning…

Hansi Flick (c.) wants to see Bayern lift the UEFA Champions League trophy again this season. - Frank Hoermann/ SVEN SIMON/SVEN SIMON/ Frank Hoermann/ Pool

"Defending a title sounds negative to me. I'm rather someone who wants to win trophies, regardless of what we have done the previous season," Bayern boss Hansi Flick told France Football recently. "Our Champions League win last season is in the past. We don't have to defend the trophy, we start from zero. We're going to do all we can to go all the way in this competition. Winning it again is our motivation."

Racing into the knockout stages in just four matches this season shows their hunger to be kings of Europe once again remains as keen as ever, while their two-point lead at the top of the Bundesliga table is adequate indication of their determination to dominate Germany's top division - for a ninth successive season and 30th time overall - remains undimmed. This Bayern squad is not one that is going to take their foot off the gas. Ever.

2) Lewandowski, the man for the big stage

After seeing Lewandowski score 15 UEFA Champions League goals last season - just two shy of Cristiano Ronaldo's competition record - and a Bundesliga record for a foreign-born player with 34, who'd have thought the Poland international could improve on that?

With 26 in 21 league matches this term, the evergreen 32-year-old has three more top-flight strikes than he did at the same stage last term, as well as three in four Champions League matches. With their place in the knockout stages secure, Bayern had the luxury of resting their goal-getter for the remaining two group stage matches meaning he'll be all the hungrier when he returns.

In last season's last 16, Lewandowski gorged on three goals and four assists as Bayern beat Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate, and has 71 goals - a tally that puts him level with Real Madrid and Schalke icon Raul at third on the competition's all-time list - in just 94 Champions League games.

That all adds up to danger for a Lazio side that has failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 17 Champions League outings. And if they think they can keep him quiet over 180 minutes, they've most likely got another thing coming.

3) Lovin' la dolce vita

The millions of tourists who have flocked to the world-renowned sites of the Eternal City are not the only ones who enjoy their trips to Rome.

Lewandowski was among the scorers in a 7-1 win in Rome in the 2014/15 Champions League groups. - getty images

Bayern's joint-biggest away win in the Champions League came in the Stadio Olimpico when they crushed Lazio's city rivals Roma 7-1 in the 2014/15 group stage. They are unbeaten in their last five visits to Italy, winning three of those games. In knockout ties against Italian opposition, they have won four times, drawn twice and lost five.

The record Bundesliga champions have a formidable record in the last 16 with 12 wins to just four losses. Their 2018/19 defeat by eventual winners Liverpool is their sole reverse in their last nine ties at this stage of the competition.

4) Oscar-quality supporting cast

Lazio's problem is that keeping Lewandowski quiet is not necessarily going to stop Bayern from running amok. Like the Pole, Kingsley Coman has three Champions League goals this season, so does Leon Goretzka, while Leroy Sane has two. Even defenders Jerome Boateng, Lucas Hernandez and Niklas Süle have all found the net.

Watch: Bayern's assist kings

And when it comes to creating chances, take a look at the Bundesliga assists chart and the podium is all red: Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich and Coman occupy the top three places with 10 for the first two, and nine for the French winger. Sane has seven and Lewandowski has six assists, Müller has 10 league goals too, while it was right-back Benjamin Pavard that got the Club World Cup match winner… the Bayern danger can come from anywhere.

5) European momentum

Bayern's incredible run of 15 successive wins in the competition was ended with the draw at Atletico Madrid on Matchday 5, but Flick had the luxury of being able to leave out a number of stitched-on first-choice stars with a place in the knockout stages having already been assured.

The Bavarian juggernaut has won the group in each of the last three seasons, and has done so 17 times overall - only Barcelona can boast a better record than that in the competition's history.

After scoring the trophy-clinching goal in last season's final, Kingsley Coman shone in Bayern's group stage campaign. - imago images

Away from home, they're unbeaten in 16 - winning 12 - in European club football's premier competition since a 3-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain at the start of the 2017/18 season.

Lazio, meanwhile, came within a whisker of being knocked out by Club Brugge in a dramatic 2-2 draw on Matchday 6, but scraped through in second place in their section behind Borussia Dortmund, the club that trails Bundesliga-leading Bayern by a double-digit deficit in the top-flight table this season…