It is Derby Weekend in Serie A as the Derby Della Capitale is upon us on Sunday evening with Roma taking on Lazio seeking revenge after the blue side of Rome took home the spoils in late September.
Roma got past Vitesse in a tight Europa Conference League last sixteen ties by a sole goal in a 2-1 aggregate win. Once again it was the late show, Tammy Abraham proved to be the hero with a goal in 90 minutes which saved Roma blushes and won the game in normal time. The game was meandering to extra-time and even penalties when a wonderful cross from Stephan El Shaarawy found Rick Karsdorp at the back post who played in Tammy Abraham to head home from close range. Que mad celebrations in front of the Curva Sud.
Roma did not play well yesterday; they struggled and lacked a bit of intensity against a good footballing side in Vitesse. I wonder if some of the players have been thinking about the game on Sunday a bit too much when they had a game to get through on Thursday night. Roma got through by the barest of margins and will now play a familiar foe in Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt in the quarter-finals. Roma will be seeking revenge from the miserable evening in Norway in the latter part of 2021. No one could forget that embarrassing display.
Lorenzo Pellegrini is rumoured to be missing the Sunday game against Lazio as it was reported on Friday morning that he missed training due to a fever. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Marash Kumbulla will both return after missing the game away in Udine due to suspension.
PREDICTED XI | ROMA (3-4-1-2)
Rui Patricio, Mancini, Smalling, Kumbulla, Karsdorp, Cristante, Mkhitaryan, El Shaarawy, Oliveira, Zaniolo, Abraham.
Lazio will be looking for a double over city rivals AS Roma this season after winning the return fixture on a balmy late September Sunday evening. Lazio are in fifth in the Serie A table, one point and one place ahead of AS Roma. It is congested in the positions out of the top four as Lazio, Roma, Atalanta, and Fiorentina are just separated by three points. Lazio on forty-nine points in fifth and Fiorentina in eighth on forty-six points. All in the race for a top-five spot in Serie A or to try and hunt down Juventus in fourth in the Serie A table. Juventus do have a seven-point buffer over Lazio in fifth.
Lazio run of form under Maurizio Sarri in the last six games in Serie A has been impressive. Four wins, one draw, and one defeat has seen thirteen points picked up from a possible eighteen. The run started with back-to-back 3-0 wins over both Fiorentina away from home in Florence and at home to Bologna.
Lazio drew 1-1 away from home away at Udinese, then were beaten at home by high flying Napoli thanks to a late goal from Fabian Ruiz. In the last two games, Lazio have played two of the bottom four and have picked maximum points from both games without conceding a goal. Cagliari were beaten in Sardinia 3-0 and nine days later in the final game of the last round of action. Venezia were beaten at the Stadio Olimpico 1-0 thanks to a goal from who else Ciro Immobile.
Lazio will be without Mattia Zaccagni due to suspension as he picked up a yellow card in Lazio 1-0 win over Venezia.
PREDICTED XI | LAZIO (4-3-3)
Strakosha, Lazzari, Luiz Felipe, Acerbi, Marusic, Lucas Leiva, Luis Alberto, Milinkovic Savic, Felipe Anderson, Pedro, Immobile.