AS Roma will lock horns with local rivals Lazio in the Derby della Capitale this weekend in the penultimate round of fixtures of the 2020/21 Serie A season.

One of the fiercest rivalries in Italian football will be renewed this weekend as AS Roma face off against neighbours Lazio in the Derby Della Capitale at Stadio Olimpico on Saturday night, in Matchweek 37 of Serie A.

Heading into the game, Roma will be battling to hold on to the seventh spot in the table which could grant them a way into the inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League for the next season. However, the Giallorossi haven’t been in the best of form of late, losing three of their last four league games, including the most recent one against champions Inter Milan. With Sassuolo just two points behind in eighth, Paulo Fonseca & co. will need to bounce back to winning ways.

As for Lazio, a place in the UEFA Europa League looks all but locked in as they are set to finish at least sixth. There is even an outside chance that Simone Inzaghi & co. can even manage a top-four finish given as they are six points short of Napoli in fourth and have three games left to be played, unlike those around them who have only two remaining fixtures. The Biancocelesti have won three of their last four league outings, with their latest encounter ending in a 1-0 win over Parma.

The reverse fixture, played in January earlier this year, ended in a 3-0 win for Lazio with goals coming from Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto (2). Ahead of the latest derby offering, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at both teams.

Team News & Tactics

AS Roma

AS Roma continue to be blighted with serious injury issues as Paulo Fonseca will have to make do without the likes of Pau Lopez, Chris Smalling, Nicolo Zaniolo, Leonardo Spinazzola, Jordan Veretout, Riccardo Calafiori and Carles Perez. Having recently switched to the 4-2-3-1 formation, Fonseca, in what will be his final home game in charge of Roma, is set to stick with the same setup.

Daniel Fuzato was preferred in goal over Antonio Mirante against Inter Milan and that is likely to be the case yet again on Saturday. He will be shielded by the centre-back pairing of Gianluca Mancini and Roger Ibanez while Rick Karsdorp and Bruno Peres slot in as the full-backs hoping to deal with the threat posed by the Lazio wing-backs.

Bryan Cristante will once again play a key role in midfield as it will be upon him and Gonzalo Villar to nullify the influence of the dangerous Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. Lorenzo Pellegrini, meanwhile, will provide the creative essence from the No. 10 role, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Stephan El Shaarawy taking up the slots out on the flanks for the Giallorossi.

Finally, the attack ought to be spearheaded by veteran striker Edin Dzeko, with Borja Mayoral likely to be only a backup option for Fonseca on Saturday.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Fuzato; Karsdorp, Mancini, Ibanez, Peres; Cristante, Villar; Mkhitaryan, Pellegrini, El Shaarawy; Dzeko

Lazio

Lazio have been handed a major injury boost as main man Sergej Milinkovic-Savic returned to training earlier this week after having had to undergo a surgery on his injured nose and is set to be involved on Saturday, while wearing a protective face mask. Apart from the Serbian, both Felipe Caicedo and Gonzalo Escalante have also recovered from their injuries whereas Lucas Leiva and Andreas Pereira are back from suspension as well.

The Biancocelesti will line up in their usual 3-5-2 formation in front of goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who will continue to be preferred over Thomas Strakosha, who could be on his way out at the end of the season. Adam Marusic is likely to continue as the right-sided centre-back despite Luiz Felipe being available at Simone Inzaghi’s disposal, with Francesco Acerbi and Stefan Radu completing the three-man defensive unit.

Manuel Lazzari and Senad Lulic ought to be the two wing-backs for the capital club and will act as the primary source of width going forward for the team, given the lack of wingers in the setup. Lucas Leiva will be tasked with holding down the fort in the middle of the park, trying to keep a check on the output of Pellegrini and Mkhitaryan.

The returning Milinkovic-Savic will support Lucas when not in possession while making driving runs when his team pushes forward. Luis Alberto will be the chief creative outlet for Lazio, with the Spaniard key to fashioning opportunities for the strike-partnership of Ciro Immobile and Joaquin Correa.

Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Reina; Marusic, Acerbi, Radu; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Alberto, Lulic; Immobile, Correa

Key Stats

  • AS Roma have won none of their last four derbies against Lazio in Serie A (D2 L2).
  • Following their 3-0 win in the reverse fixture, Lazio will be aiming to win back-to-back Rome derbies for the first time since 2012.
  • AS Roma have last just two of their last 22 home games in Serie A against Lazio, winning 12 of those (D8).
  • Lazio have won eight of their last ten matches in Serie A.
  • AS Roma, though, are unbeaten in 20 of their last 22 league outings at home.

Player to Watch

Ciro Immobile

The 31-year-old continues to be the main man for Lazio and has enjoyed another prolific campaign that has seen him score 25 goals and set up eight more in 39 games across all competitions. Indeed, Immobile was the Biancocelesti’s saviour last time out against Parma, scoring a stoppage-time winning goal to secure European football for his side for another season.

Going up against an AS Roma backline that has looked shaky of late, the Italian international will fancy his chances of adding to his tally for the season this weekend. Immobile has scored four league goals for Lazio in the league derbies against Roma, only outscored by Silvio Piola (5) and Tommasso Rocchi (6). Expect him to cause a few problems to the Giallorossi defence.

Prediction

AS Roma 1-2 Lazio

Roma have been quite solid at home, having kept a clean sheet in eight of their last 16 Serie A games at Stadio Olimpico. However, they have looked all over the places recently and will certainly be there for the taking. Lazio, meanwhile, haven’t been quite at their best but are showing that they can get the job done in spite of that. With Ciro Immobile on the field and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic also returning, the Biancocelesti could clinch this Derby della Capitale on Saturday.

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