Roma face Lazio in the Derby della Capitale at the Stadio Olimpico in Serie A on Sunday afternoon, in one of the most fiercest rivalries in Italy’s top flight.
The Giallorossi will be hoping to bounce back from last weekend’s 1-0 away loss to Inter in Serie A. But Rudi Garcia’s men will be boosted by their midweek 3-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.
Rudi Garcia’s men currently sit in third position in the standings after round 11 on 23 points, only one off joint leaders Fiorentina and Inter. I Lupi have racked up 15 goals in those five home matches and will be hoping for more of the same on Sunday.
Le Aquile meanwhile, have lost their last two Serie A games but did beat Rosenborg 2-0 away on Thursday in their Europa League clash in Norway. Lazio find themselves in seventh in the table on 18 points, and have suffered a dip in form with those two league defeats since beating Torino 3-0 at the Olimpico two weeks ago. Even though Sunday’s encounter will be at the Stadio Olimpico, the fixture is technically an away match for the Biancocelesti, and with one draw and four defeats so far away from home, Stefano Pioli’s men will want to amend that record.
Last season’s fixtures between the sides produced plenty of drama. A 2-2 draw in this fixture in January, saw the Aquile squander a 2-0 half-time lead, with Francesco Totti netting two second half goals to earn the Giallorossi a point. The return game in May finished in a 2-1 victory for I Lupi thanks to an 85th winner from Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Since the 2005/2006 season the sides have met 20 times in Serie A and twice in the Coppa Italia. With ten wins to Roma and nine to Lazio and just three draws in those encounters, Sunday’s match is going to be a tough one to call. There have also been 16 red cards shown in those games with Andre Dias the latest being shown his marching orders in 2013 for the Biancocelesti.
I Lupi will be without influential midfielder and dead-ball specialist Miralem Pjanic through suspension, with fitness doubts remaining over defender Maincon and midfielder Daniele De Rossi. Alessandro Florenzi is expected to start though. Francesco Totti and long-term absentee Kevin Stootman will definitely miss the game.
Le Aquile defender Stefan de Vrij is out until May after undergoing knee surgery this week, while midfielder Marco Parolo is not expected to return until next weekend.
Form Guide : Roma (D-W-W-L-W) Lazio (W-W-L-L-W)
Expected Starting XIs:
Roma: Szczesny, Torosidis, Manolas, Rudiger, Digne; Florenzi, Nainggolan, Vainqueur; Salah, Dzeko, Gervinho.
Lazio: Marchetti; Basta, Mauricio, Gentiletti, Radu; Onazi, Biglia Lulic; Candreva, Klose, Anderson.
Infographic from www.sporticos.com