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
bundesliga

5 reasons Bayern Munich will beat Lazio AGAIN 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 finish the job against Lazio in their last-16 tie.

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bundesliga.com 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. Even though they hold a comfortable 4-1 advantage from the first leg in Rome, 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 32 in 24 league matches this term, the evergreen 32-year-old is closing in rapidly on an age-old Bundesliga record, while he also has four in five Champions League matches after netting in the first leg - his first game back in the competition after being rested for their final two group stage matches, having already secured their qualification for the knockout stages.

In last season's last 16, Lewandowski gorged on three goals and four assists as Bayern beat Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate, and has 72 goals - a tally that puts him third behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, one ahead of former Real Madrid and Schalke icon Raul, on the competition's all-time list - in just 95 Champions League games.

That all adds up to danger for a Lazio side that has failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 18 Champions League outings. If they think they can keep him quiet, they've most likely got another thing coming.

3) Lovin' la dolce vita

While the 4-1 win in the first leg was Bayern's first meeting with Lazio, the Bavarians have an admirable record against all other clubs from il bel paese.

Lewandowski was among the scorers in a 7-1 win in Rome in the 2014/15 Champions League group. - 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 six visits to Italy, winning four of those games, and boast an overall record of 18 wins and nine draws from 45 matches.

In knockout ties against Italian opposition, they have won five times, drawn twice and lost five, while back in Munich, their record is even more impressive, with ten wins, five draws and just five defeats to Italian opposition. The last Italian team to come away from Bavaria with a win were FC Internazionale Milano, who won 3-2 almost ten years ago to the day.

The record Bundesliga champions have a formidable record in the last 16 with 13  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. Kingsley Coman has three Champions League goals this season, as do Leon Goretzka, and Leroy Sane. 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 13 for the former, 10 for midfield lynchpin and nine for the French winger. Sane has eight 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

At home, they've won their last seven, scoring at least two each time, in European club football's premier competition since that 3-1 loss to Liverpool.

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, a club who trail Bundesliga-leading Bayern by 16 points in the top-flight table this season…