Lazio came through the group stage relatively unscathed, finishing second to Atletico Madrid. That didn’t stop manager Maurizio Sarri from digging into the weak mentality of his team, who have been disappointing in Serie A this season.
Losing Sergio Milinkovic-Savic to Saudi Arabia has certainly played a part, but key players such as Ciro Immobile have dropped off a level and contributed to an overall drop in consistency. The press conferences have been more entertaining than the football at times this season, but that hasn’t stopped Sarri from wanting Barcelona in the next round.
He may want Barcelona, but may get Borussia Dortmund who would believe that Lazio are an opponent they can beat to progress to the quarterfinals.
PSV have a perfect record in Eredivise this season, having not drawn nor lost any of their games so far. They came out of the group stages having lost just once to Arsenal, which in reality bears no shame.
Peter Bosz’s side are being spearheaded by highly rated forward Johan Bakayoko. The Belgian had a fine game on Matchday 6 against the Gunners, and will be keen to continue his impressive recent rise in the second half of the campaign.
The likely Dutch champions play at Philips Stadium, which is a former hunting ground of Donyell Malen, who joined Dortmund from the ranks of PSV. Should Malen still be a BVB player in February, it would be an interesting reunion for the Dutch player to look forward to. Plus, Peter Bosz would also no doubt want to get one over his former employers after a rather disastrous short spell at Borussia Dortmund.