NEWS
Thursday March 7 2013
Line-ups: Stuttgart-Lazio

Lazio aim to keep up their unbeaten Europa League record by visiting Federico Macheda’s Stuttgart with Libor Kozak and Hernanes.

The Biancocelesti haven’t lost yet on the continent this season, notching up six wins and four draws, but step into the VfB Arena at 18.00 GMT.

Vladimir Petkovic makes several changes for the first leg of the Round of 16, some forced with injuries for Miroslav Klose, Abdoullay Konko and Cristian Brocchi, while Stefano Mauri is only fit for the bench after several weeks out with a sprained ankle.

Lorik Cana and Michael Ciani get the nod in a four-man defence, while Africa Cup of Nations winner Eddy Onazi and Brazilian Ederson come into the midfield.

Kozak hopes to continue his fine scoring form in the Europa League, having found the net five times in six games.

Stuttgart signed Macheda on loan from Manchester United in January, a familiar face because he grew up in the Lazio youth academy.

The Germans must do without the suspended Vedad Ibisevic, but have Shinji Okazaki and Alexandru Maxim in support.

This is the first time Lazio have made it to the last 16 of a European competition since the 2002-03 UEFA Cup, while Stuttgart hadn’t been here since 2009-10.

Curiously, Stuttgart have done considerably better on their travels in Europe this season than at home, managing only three draws and a defeat at the VfB Arena since the play-offs.

Stuttgart: Ulreich; Sakai, Tasci, Rudiger, Boka; Kvist, Gentner; Okazaki, Maxim, Traore; Macheda

Stuttgart bench: Ziegler, Felipe Lopes, Molinaro, Hoogland, Holzhauser, Hajnal, Harnik

Lazio: Marchetti; Pereirinha, Cana, Ciani, Radu; Hernanes; Candreva, Onazi, Ederson, Lulic; Kozak

Lazio bench: Bizzarri, Andre Dias, Biava, Mauri, Gonzalez, Ledesma, Floccari

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