Lazio v Salzburg background
Two experienced UEFA Europa League campaigners come face to face in Rome for the first leg of this quarter-final as Lazio bid to bring an end to the long unbeaten European run of Austrian champions Salzburg.
• Lazio, who are participating in their 55th UEFA Europa League encounter, group stage to final, won Group K in the autumn before coming from behind to eliminate Romania’s FCSB in the round of 32 and then disposing of Dynamo Kyiv 4-2 on aggregate in the last 16.
• Salzburg, with 56 matches in the UEFA Europa League proper behind them, are making their first appearance in the quarter-finals. They finished top of their group – for a record fourth time – before eliminating both Real Sociedad and Borussia Dortmund by the odd goal in the first two knockout rounds.
• A Salzburg side including current players Andreas Ulmer and Christoph Leitgeb defeated a Lazio team featuring featuring Ştefan Radu 2-1 in both of the club’s previous encounters, which took place in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League group stage. A matchday one victory in Italy, sealed by Marc Janko’s added-time strike, was followed by a repeat performance in Austria as Salzburg went through to the round of 32 – at Lazio’s expense – with a maximum haul of 18 points.
• Lazio’s record in six matches against Austrian opponents is W3 L3 (W1 L2 at home), and they are on a run of three successive defeats. However, they have been triumphant in each of their two knockout ties, defeating Rapid Wien in the third round of the 1997/98 UEFA Cup (3-0 aggregate) and Sturm Graz at the same stage of the same competition five years later (3-2 agg).
• Other than their two victories against Lazio, Salzburg have won just once in ten other matches against Italian sides – away to Udinese in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup first round – and have an away record against Serie A opposition of W2 D1 L3. Their only European final appearance, in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup, ended with defeat by an Italian club, Internazionale beating them 1-0 in both legs.
• Salzburg’s 5-0 loss at Parma in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup second round is the club’s joint heaviest European defeat. They had lost the first leg 4-0, still their joint biggest home defeat in UEFA competition.
• Lazio, who have qualified for the UEFA Europa League knockout phase in each of their last five participations – after that initial lapse in 2009/10 – have won eight of their last 11 European home games, losing just one.
• This is the Rome side’s second appearance in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. They lost their only previous tie at this stage to Fenerbahçe in 2012/13 (0-2 away, 1-1 home).
• Lazio have won three and lost three of their six European quarter-finals, but they have won the home leg in five of them, all without conceding, the only exception that 1-1 draw against Fenerbahçe.
• UEFA Cup runners-up in 1998, and UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and UEFA Super Cup winners the following year, Lazio are competing in the UEFA Europa League after a one-season absence, having made it back thanks to a fifth-place finish in Serie A last term.
• Salzburg are unbeaten in their last 19 European matches (W11 D8), since a 1-0 defeat at home to Nice on matchday three of last season’s UEFA Europa League. That includes a run of ten games without defeat on their travels (W5 D5), during which they have scored 16 goals and conceded just six. Their most recent away fixture brought a famous 2-1 win at Dortmund – the club’s first victory on German soil.
• Having come undefeated through the UEFA Europa League group stage for a record fourth time, this is Salzburg’s first appearance in the last eight. Their only previous quarter-final participation resulted in a penalty shoot-out triumph against Eintracht Frankfurt (after each had won 1-0 at home) in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup.
• Salzburg’s concession of just one goal in the group stage equalled another UEFA Europa League record, set by Standard Liège in 2011/12, although the seven goals they scored amounted to the lowest number registered by any of this season’s 12 group winners.
• Austrian league and cup double winners for the past four seasons, and 1994 UEFA Cup runners-up, Salzburg missed the cut in last year’s UEFA Europa League group stage – after succeeding in their previous three attempts.
Links and trivia
• This game takes place on Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi’s 42nd birthday.
• Lazio’s Italy international striker Ciro Immobile scored a hat-trick in Lazio’s round of 32 second leg against FCSB on his first start in this season’s competition. His two goals in the group stage, against Vitesse and Zulte Waregem, came as a substitute. He has since added another, at home to Dynamo Kyiv in the round of 16.
• That 2-2 draw in the home leg against Dynamo was the 18th UEFA Europa League draw that Lazio have been involved in, group stage to final – a competition record.
• Salzburg are the only reigning domestic champions left in the competition. They are also one of only two clubs among the quarter-finalists (alongside European debutants Leipzig) who have never lifted a major UEFA trophy – although they did win last season’s UEFA Youth League, beating Benfica in the final under Marco Rose, the club’s current senior head coach.
• This is the Austrian club’s 17th European match in 2017/18 – more than any other team in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. Defender Ulmer has been on the field for every minute of a campaign that began in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, with striker Munas Dabbur also starting all 16 matches.
• Salzburg’s qualification for this round means that Austria are the 14th nation to be represented in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.
• This season Salzburg became the first club to win their UEFA Europa League group on four occasions. Eleven others have achieved the feat three times.
• This is Salzburg’s 57th UEFA Europa League match, group stage to final; only Spanish clubs Villarreal (62) and Athletic Club (61) have played more. Their tally of 29 wins is bettered only by Villarreal (33), and their current sequence of 13 matches without defeat in the competition proper is second only to Atlético Madrid’s 15-match run from November 2011 to October 2012.
• Lazio (in 1998) and Salzburg (1994) have both been defeated in the UEFA Cup final by Internazionale.
• Salzburg’s Reinhold Yabo was a member of the German team that won the final of the 2009 UEFA European Under-17 Championship 2-1 after extra time in Magdeburg against a Netherlands side that featured Lazio’s Stefan de Vrij.
• André Ramalho was a late substitute for Bayer Leverkusen in a 3-0 home win against Lazio in the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League play-offs.
• Salzburg’s Hwang Hee-Chan is suspended for this fixture.
• Suspended for next game if booked: Ciro Immobile, Jordan Lukaku, Sergej Milinković-Savić, Luis Felipe (Lazio); Munas Dabbur, Xaver Schlager, Stefan Lainer, Duje Ćaleta-Car, Diadié Samassékou (Salzburg).
• Lazio boss since April 2016, when he replaced Stefano Pioli, Simone Inzaghi represented the club as a forward from 1999–2010, winning the Italian double in his debut season. The younger brother of fellow ex-Italian international Filippo Inzaghi, with whom he played at home-town outfit Piacenza, he began coaching Lazio’s youth teams immediately after hanging up his boots.
• Previously Salzburg’s youth team boss, Marco Rose stepped up to the senior helm after predecessor Óscar García left in June, having led the club to victory in the 2016/17 UEFA Youth League. A defender with home-town club Leipzig, Hannover and Mainz, he has been on Salzburg’s coaching staff since 2013.