Lazio v Roma – Stadio Olimpico at 19:30 GMT live at Premier Sports
The Derby della Capitale (Derby of the Capital) is considered to be the biggest derby in Italy and on Saturday night the two Rome giants of Lazio and Roma lock horns at the Stadio Olimpico. Normally a very feisty affair, there’s reason to believe the ‘away’ side could be a touch underrated here.
Last weekend Roma needed a bundled last-gasp Edin Dzeko goal to seal a 3-2 success away at struggling Frosinone. The Giallorossi needed a victory to keep up with fourth-placed Milan and break away from Atalanta and Eusebio Di Francesco decided to rest and rotate his weary squad for the contest.
With Cengiz Under, Patrik Schick and Rick Karsdorp still out of action, Di Francesco opted to leave out Federico Fazio, Alessandro Florenzi and Nicolò Zaniolo, to avoid a yellow card that would have excluded them from this weekend’s hotly-anticipated showdown.
The changes played their part in an uninspiring and concerning effort from Roma. With defender Kostas Manolas also being stretchered off – he’s expected to be fit here – the Giallorossi were relieved to pick up maximum points with Di Francesco saying, “We can’t keep getting away with this type of performance.”
Keep Roma onside
Nevertheless, Roma will be back to almost full-strength on Saturday and keen to enhance a recent W8-D2-L2 head-to-head record against their old rivals in recent meetings since the start of 2013/14. And the Giallorossi come into this contest having suffered only five Serie A defeats all season.
Juventus are the only side to topple the Wolves since December (W7-D4-L1) as Di Francesco’s menacing outfit have struck at least twice in 10 of those 12 games. Inter, Milan and Atalanta have all been held in that sample and the visitors look well capable of justifying support with a +0.25 Asian Handicap start at 1.77.
With Roma in reasonable health, Lazio come into the weekend in poor form and suffering from a minor injury crises, as being the last Italian club fighting on three fronts took its toll.
Lazio not in peak condition
The Biancocelesti crashed out of the Europa League at the Round of 32 stage with a 3-0 aggregate defeat to Sevilla last weekend and had last weekend’s Serie A match against Udinese postponed so they could better prepare for the Coppa Italia fixture with Milan on Tuesday, a game that ended goalless.
With Wallace, Jordan Lukaku, Luiz Felipe and Valon Berisha out injured, Bastos were rushed back into action having just returned to training on Monday. Considering the issues, head coach Simone Inzaghi had been tempted to move to a 4-3-3 formation, but stuck with his 3-5-1-1 and Lazio managed to keep Milan at bay without ever really threatening in the final-third.
That result extends Lazio’s less-than-impressive record against Serie A’s elite. The Biancocelesti have W0-D4-L7 in all competitions against Juve, Napoli, Inter, Milan, Roma, Atalanta and Torino this term, failing to score in four of those 11 encounters and conceding in all bar one.
Meanwhile, in all league contests with top-six finishers under Inzaghi, Lazio have returned W5-D5-L18, meaning this selection would have pocketed us profit in 23 of 28 games, highlighting the hosts’ frailties against Italy’s top teams.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Roma +0.25 at 1.770
Preview by: @MarkOHaire.
Roma have claimed 23 wins and 16 draws while Lazio have emerged victorious 16 times in 55 previous Rome derbies. Can Giallorossi claim another win against Biancocelesti? Get your Lazio v Roma locked in. Go settle your bets at VOdds or through Eastbridge’s Skype betting service at custserve01!