Lazio v FCSB background

The 1-0 win in the first leg gave FCSB a first victory against a Serie A side at the 14th time of asking; now they travel to Lazio looking to open their goal account on Italian soil.

Harlem Gnohéré (centre) after scoring FCSB's first-leg winner against Lazio
Harlem Gnohéré (centre) after scoring FCSB's first-leg winner against Lazio ©AFP/Getty Images

FCSB defeated Italian opposition for the first time in 14 meetings when they overcame Lazio 1-0 at home in the first leg of this round of 32 tie. Now the Bucharest side will hope to erase another unwanted record as they visit Rome seeking a first goal on Italian soil.

• The Romanian team qualified as runners-up of Group G, behind Viktoria Plzeň, while Lazio won Group K. Both clubs ensured their passage to the knockout phase with two games to spare, FCSB having collected ten points from their first four group games while Lazio, alone among the 48 participants, claimed a maximum 12.

Previous meetings
FCSB's historic first-leg victory was achieved with a 29th-minute breakaway strike from their French striker Harlem Gnohéré and some stout second-half defending to inflict on Lazio a second successive away defeat in the UEFA Europa League.

• Lazio were unbeaten in their previous four matches against Romanian sides, drawing both of their two home games – 1-1 against Dinamo Bucureşti in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round and 2-2 against FC Vaslui in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage.

• FCSB have faced Italian clubs 14 times, the 13 matches prior to the first-leg win bringing five draws and eight defeats. They have failed to score in any of their seven away games and drew a blank also on neutral terrain against Serie A opposition when they lost the 1989 European Champion Clubs' Cup final 4-0 to AC Milan in Barcelona.

Highlights: FCSB 1-0 Lazio
Highlights: FCSB 1-0 Lazio

Form guide
• Lazio, who have qualified for the UEFA Europa League knockout phase in each of their last five participations, have won seven of their last nine European home games (D1 L1).

• The Rome side have won two and lost two of their previous four UEFA Europa League round of 32 ties, prevailing on each occasion that they have played the second leg in the Stadio Olimpico – wins against Borussia Mönchengladbach (2-0 for a 5-3 aggregate success) in 2012/13 and Galatasaray (3-1; 4-2 on aggregate) in 2015/16.

• FCSB have won three of their five European away games this season (D1 L1), including two of their three group stage encounters. They are yet to score away from home in the UEFA Europa League round of 32, having lost 1-0 to FC Twente in 2011/12 and 2-0 to another Dutch club, Ajax, a year later.

• FCSB won their opening three games in this season's group stage but finished two points behind Viktoria Plzeň in the final standings despite a six-point advantage over the Czech side at the halfway stage.

• UEFA Cup semi-finalists in 2005/06, FCSB have now reached this round of the UEFA Europa League three times from seven group stage participations.

• UEFA Cup runners-up in 1998, and European Cup Winners' 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.

• Beaten 5-1 on aggregate by Sporting CP in the UEFA Champions League play-offs, 2016/17 Romanian league runners-up FCSB share with Salzburg the record of 42 matches played in the UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Lazio have won three and lost five of the eight UEFA competition ties in which they have incurred defeat away from home in the first leg, most recently going out to Fenerbahçe (0-2 away, 1-1 home) in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals. On both previous occasions that they have been beaten 1-0 away in the first leg, they have progressed, but those two ties, against Chornomorets Odesa and Boavista, took place over 40 years ago.

• FCSB have won the first leg at home in 29 UEFA competition ties and made further progress on 21 occasions. Four of their eight defeats, however, have come in the six ties featuring a 1-0 home first leg win, most recently when Ludogorets defeated them on penalties after also winning the home leg 1-0 in the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League play-offs.

• FCSB also infamously lost the 2005/06 UEFA Cup semi-final to Middlesbrough 4-3 on aggregate after winning the first leg 1-0 at home and then taking a 2-0 lead in the return. Current boss Nicolae Dică scored in both legs.

UEFA Europa League squad changes
In: Martín Cáceres
Out: Davide Paglia, Simone Palombi, Ivan Vargić

In: Valerică Găman, Eduard Stăncioiu, Cristian Tănase
Out: William de Amorim, Cătălin Golofca, Florin Niță

Links and trivia
• Lazio's Adam Marušić played for Montenegro against Romania in the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, drawing 1-1 in Cluj-Napoca and winning 1-0 in Podgorica. FCSB defender Romario Benzar was in the Romania team for both games.

• FCSB's current head coach Dică played for the club against Parma (2004/05) and Sampdoria (2005/06) in the UEFA Cup. He also played three games in Serie A with Catania in 2008/09.

• Romanian international Ştefan Radu has been a Lazio player since 2008. He was in the Dinamo Bucureşti team that drew 1-1 in Rome against Lazio in 2007.

• FCSB striker Denis Alibec played two Serie A matches for Internazionale Milano in 2010/11, the second a 3-1 defeat against Lazio.

• FCSB defender Mihai Bălaşa came through the youth system at Lazio's city rivals Roma and had loan spells at Crotone and Trapani in Serie B.

• Luis Felipe (Lazio) and Mihai Pintilii (FCSB) are suspended for this fixture.

• Suspended for next game if booked: Mihai Bălaşa, Dennis Man (FCSB).

Penalty shoot-outs
• Lazio have yet to feature in a UEFA penalty shoot-out.

• FCSB's record in UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W4 L1:
2-0 v Barcelona, 1985/86 European Champion Clubs' Cup final
4-3 v Valencia, 2004/05 UEFA Cup round of 32
4-3 v Grasshoppers, 2010/11 UEFA Europa League play-off
4-2 v Ajax, 2012/13 UEFA Europa League round of 32
5-6 v Ludogorets, 2014/15 UEFA Champions League play-off

The coaches
• 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.

• Nicolae Dică left Argeş Piteşti to return to FCSB as coach in May 2017, having served the club as a player in two previous spells, landing two Romanian Liga I titles – and a further one with CFR Cluj. The attacking midfielder also played in Italy, Greece and Turkey and was capped 32 times by Romania, scoring nine goals. He ended his playing career in 2014 at Viitorul Constanţa.