Harry Kane has scored four goals in seven Champions League outings for Bayern Munich this season. - © IMAGO/Ulmer/Teamfoto
Harry Kane has scored four goals in seven Champions League outings for Bayern Munich this season. - © IMAGO/Ulmer/Teamfoto

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


Goalscorer extraordinaire Harry Kane and his success-hungry teammates have every chance of restoring their brilliant UEFA Champions League record by beating Lazio at the second time of asking to progress from the last 16. bundesliga.com makes the case for another super European night for the German champions.

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1) King Kane

Bundesliga viewers and Bayern fans have become so used to the sight of Harry Kane smashing the ball into the net already that you can forget just how staggering his impact has been. Firing 27 goals in his opening 24 Bundesliga appearances - to be in with a chance of breaking Robert Lewandowski's all-time Bundesliga goals-in-a-season record is at the off-the-charts level of magnificence. 

Kane will surely be brimming to show his extraordinary ability once again on the UEFA Champions League stage. Four goals for Bayern in the group - including a brace in a 2-1 win over Galatassary - was a decent haul, but the England captain would be entitled to have his sights set on even greater targets in the competition. 

Watch: Harry Kane on a record tear

No player has netted more than five in this season's Champions League - meaning Kane may have a chance of finishing as the competition's top scorer for the first time. Bayern would need to overturn the single-goal deficit from the first leg for that to happen, but if Kane can show as much goalscoring class in front of his own fans as he did in a superb brace as Bayern beat Leipzig 2-1 on Bundesliga Matchday 23, that in itself would leave them with one foot in the next round.

With 25 goals in the competition, Kane is also just five behind Wayne Rooney - the highest-scoring Englishman in Champions League history. With a swashbuckling support cast behind him featuring the likes of Jamal Musiala (whose first-ever Champions League goal came against Lazio, incidentally), Leroy Sané, and the evergreen Thomas Müller (with 53 goals in the competition), you could picture him taking that mantle in a Bayern shirt before too long.  

2) Advantage Allianz Arena

One thing that was forgotten among Bayern's recent dip of form - with three consecutive away defeats and Friday's draw in Freiburg - is that the Bundesliga champions remain a formidable force in front of their own fans. Bayern are indeed unbeaten in 13 home matches in the UEFA Champions League - and have smashed a stunning 40 goals in those (over three per match on average). 

Watch: Kane nets brace as Bayern beat Leipzig at Allianz Arena

It is no surprise that Harry Kane has struck the majority of his Bundesliga goals this season - 17 - in Munich, as well as three of his four Champions League strikes in Bayern colours to date.

Despite all the advancements in modern football, there remains a big discrepancy between the challenge of hosting continental opponents and travelling midweek to a foreign land. That is not to suggest that the Bundesliga champions were outplayed in Rome in the first leg, with 17 shots to Lazio's 11 and 61% of possession, you can definitely argue they were the better side.

With Bayern back to their blistering best on their familiar home field with their loyal fans roaring them on, the gap between the sides could well become a chasm, though, with the Bavarians overwhelming their opponents.

3) Tuchel aiming for fond farewell 

Thomas Tuchel was appointed Bayern coach during the Champions League knockout stages last season and will be determined to deploy his tactical acumen to ensure they go deep into the competition in his final season in charge of the Bavarians.

Thomas Tuchel proved in 2021 he knows exactly what it takes to win the UEFA Champions League with Chelsea. - Dave Shopland/BPI/Shutterstock via www.imago-images.de/imago images/Shutterstock

He is one of the select group of coaches in football you can call a bonafide Champions League expert, after all, having taken Paris Saint-Germain to the 2020 final and guided Chelsea to the trophy in 2021.

Tuchel is sure to have absorbed the lessons of the narrow defeat in Rome, and with the pressure off somewhat due to his impending departure, we would expect Tuchel to find the perfect recipe to inspire Bayern to a win on home soil. 

4) Romans don't take to the road

One of the obvious lessons from the first leg on Valentine's Day is that Lazio are capable of special things in a bustling Stadio Olimpico. A glance at the Serie table suggests Maurizio Sarri's men are less of a threat away from the Italian capital, however.

The side have lost seven out of 14 away matches in Serie A this season, and were beaten in two of their three Champions League group stage trips. 

Joshua Kimmich in action for Bayern against Lazio in the last 16 of the 2020/21 Champions League. - Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

A scroll through Lazio's past away European results is even bleaker for the Romans. Only one of their past 12 away Champions League ties has been won (with three winless trips to Germany in that time, losing to Bremen in 2007, Bayern in 2021 and drawing with Dortmund in 2020). 

That poor trend is also evident in the UEFA Europa League - with one win in their most recent 12 away ties - and Lazio are yet to win in two Conference League trips. It would take a monumental break with history for Lazio to spring a shock in Munich. 

5) Nothing beats experience

Five of the Lazio XI that started a humbling 4-1 defeat to Bayern in the first leg of the last 16 of 2021 remain at the club. While the Roman side were outclassed on that occasion, losing 6-2 on aggregate, they were happy just to reach the last 16 - as that was the furthest they have progressed in the competition since 1999/2000.

Thomas Müller is one of seven Bayern players who started the 2020 UEFA Champions League final and remain at the club. - IMAGO / Sven Simon / Frank Hoermann / Pool

Admittedly, the first leg of the latest encounter went a lot better for the Serie A side, but it is well worth taking into context the teams' respective experience and expectations.

This season marks Lazio's first appearance in the Champions League since the 2020/21 run ended by Bayern. The German champions, in contrast, have made the quarter-finals of the last three editions - after winning the tournament in 2020 - and are eager to go even further this time around. 

That gulf of experience is personified in all the Bayern players who started the 2021 win in Rome - Sané, Musiala, Kingsley Coman, Leon Goretzka, Joshua Kimmich, Alphonso Davies and Manuel Neuer. When it comes to keeping a calm head and turning around a first-leg deficit, the expertise of players who have survived countless tight knockout predicaments and won the lot is immensely important.