AS Roma will host SS Lazio tonight in what will be the 171st meeting between these two clubs. Roma, historically, have had the upper hand in the Derby della Capitale, with 63 victories – 16 more than Lazio.
AS Roma come into this match on the back of 2-0 defeat at the hands of Palermo away from home, last weekend. It was Aurelio Andreazzoli’s men’s first defeat in their last six matches. But their home form continues to be impressive as they have lost just once at the Stadio Olimpico in their last 11 matches.
Lazio on the other hand have faced inconsistent form lately, having lost five of their last ten matches. Vladimir Petkovic’s men have been awful away from home this season, with only four wins in 14 away games. The Biancocelesti have managed just one win their last nine away matches in all competition, with their last away victory coming in the 2-0 win over Stuttgart in the Europa League clash. They come into this match on the back of 2-0 loss in the first leg of their Europa League tie against Turkish side Fenerbahce, which has put them on the verge of exit from the European competition.
Based on form and their record at home, Roma are the favourites to win this derby, but Lazio have managed to win their last three matches against Roma. In a thrilling match earlier this season, which saw five goals and one red card, Lazio picked up a vital win over their rivals. Last season, they did the double over Roma as well with two 2-1 victories. Incidentally Sefano Mauri has scored the winner in the last two Derby della Captiale.
This match will also have big impact on the race of the European places in the league. Lazio are currently fifth on the table, which is the last Europa League qualification spot, and just three points above Roma. A victory for Lazio would see them jump above Fiorentina, who dropped points in the 2-2 draw with AC Milan, while a victory for Roma will see them topple Lazio and move up to fifth due to better goal difference than their rivals.
Aurelio Andreazzoli will have to do without Pablo Osvaldo and defender Ivan Piris in this match due to suspension. Nicolas Lopez and Mattia Destro are sure to miss this match as well, while there are concerns about the fitness of Taddei, Florenzi, Balzaretti and Marquinhos, although Florenzi is expected to feature in this match.
Aurelio Andreazzoli is certainly expected to field his strongest eleven in this match. The trio of Totti, Lamela and Florenzi will start in attack, in his preferred 3-4-2-1 formation. 18-year-old Alessio Romagnoli, who last featured in 3-1 victory over Genoa, might start this match if Taddei is deemed unfit.
Possible starting line-up (3-4-2-1) : Stekelenburg (GK); Romagnoli, Burdisso, Castan; Perrota, De Rossi, Tachtsidis, Marquinho; Lamela, Florenzi; Totti
Lazio manager, Vladimir Petkovic, does have a long injury list to deal with presently. Bruno Pereirinha, Sergio Floccari, Andre Dias, Abdoulay Konko and Cristian Brocchi are all out of this match due to injuries, while there are doubts about the availability of Ederson and Giuseppe Biava in this match.
Lazio have mostly used the 4-4-1-1 formation away from home, but Ederson’s unavailability might force a slight change in tactics. Ledesma is likely to start in this match, to provide more body in the midfield and this will change the formation into 4-1-4-1. Kozak is expected to lead the line once again despite a fairly average performance against Fernerbahce in the Europa League.
Possible starting line-up (4-1-4-1) : Marchetti (GK); Gonzalez, Cana, Ciani, Radu; Ledesma; Candreva, Onazi, Hernanes, Lulic; Kozak
Roma 2-1 Lazio
Roma are in better form of late and despite losing the last three derbies, they will be able to take advantage of playing at home this time around and get the revenge for the defeat in the return leg earlier this season. Lazio will still have another eye on the Europa League and this has proved to be a big distraction at this stage of the season. Expect Roma to win this match with a one goal margin.