Following a 3-3 Draw with Genoa, the BIG GAME arrives Sunday in Rome where the entire city shuts down for 90 minutes. There is nothing in the city more important than Derby Day. The Rome Derby is also known as Derby Della Capitale. The local Derby between arch-rivals Roma and Lazio hatred between them that stretches through generations. The Rome Derby is considered one of the most violence aggressive and importance derbies in World football. No Derby in the world holds more important on Supremacy in the city. Roma Lazio, it’s never about winning the league although that is the ultimate goal that is not the most important part of the season. The sole purpose is to win the Derby. In Rome the Derby more than any other city in the world. As a romanista myself this is something I have seen every season. It means so much to the players and the city itself. It’s not about We Are the Champions of Italy it’s about we finished ahead of them. It is vile it is cruel it is dangerous and it’s exciting. Lazio fans and Roma hate each other and that is always going to be the case we wouldn’t want it any other way it is what makes it so enticing because the hatred of these two teams is it very real. This is not just a football match, in fact, this not even sport winning the Derby is the reason to be proud which is why this fixture means more than any game this season. Personally, I don’t usually get too personal when I’m making an assessment of a game but there’s nothing in this world I hate more this Lazio Football Club. I hate their color I hate their logo I hate their players I hate their management I hate everything about them. If you’re over Lazio fan you feel the same about Roma. Since 1927 they have played 186 times Roma currently lead this historic fixture with 71 wins to Lazio’s 53 wins as well as 64 draws. Roma has dominated their City Rivals for some time since Italian football’s Inception they have finished ahead of they’re noisy neighbors 68 times. Make no mistake this is Roma’s City however when these two teams play doesn’t matter how many points each team has or how well they’re playing there’s nothing that drives a player more than winning the Derby. Last season Roma won the season series with a win with the other match being a draw. However with all that being said Lazio come into this match as rare favorites only slightly the question is can they handle the pressure. Make no mistake this is a World War this is not just a football match.
Unfortunately, Roma got some unfortunate news following their 3-3 draw at home against Genoa. Roma Winger Diego Perotti who was expected to be the starter on the left-wing for departing Stephan El Shaarawy last season has dealt yet again with another injury. The Argentina Winger who only played 15 games last season will miss two months with an ankle injury. Roma is quickly trying to find a replacement before the transfer window officially closes in a couple of days. The timing of this is incredibly unfortunate with the Derby Della Capitale one of the most important matches of the season this Sunday night. Pablo Fonseca formation that should be unchanged but we could see a few changes in the lineup. The team still will be operating out of the 4-2-3-1 formation. We can expect no changes in goal as Paul Lopez is the Roma starter and will be for the entire season. Romans backline showed its weaknesses last week and we should see some changes. There’s been no news regarding Leonardo Spinazzola so my guess is he will still be out for this game. Roma has also added Chris Smalling from Manchester United on loan to help with their defensive problems I’m not sure whether he will be ready to start on Sunday so in all likelihood we will see a center-back partnership of Gianluca Mancini and Federico Fazio. On the outside, we should see Alex Kolarov and Alessandro Florenzi. We could see a slight change in the defensive Midfield as well. Diawara or Jordan Veretout will start alongside Lorenzo Pellegrini as Bryan Cristante will be likely used as a sub this weekend. There should be little to no change in the attacking Midfield just as last week we should see Nicolo Zaniolo in the central position with Justin kluivert and Cengiz Under on the wings. Then upfront at the main Striker should be Edin Dzeko. Roma said to have relatively strong options on the bench to make an impact at some point. the key player for Roma should be Lorenzo Pellegrini the way he orchestrated a very vicious Roma attack last weekend he will be key and getting the ball moving going forward.
Lazio is coming off a 3-0 win against Sampdoria who struggled defensively. The season hasn’t gone on long enough for me to determine whether or not Lazio are likely to change their formation so as it stands I speculate that they will maintain their 5-3-2 formation. In gold for Lazio will be Thomas strakosha one of the most underrated keepers in the league. Lazio should have a back 5 that consists of Manuel lazzari Radu Luiz Philippe Varvo & Lucic. In their midfield, we should see a Trio of milinkovic-savic Luis Alberto and Lucas. As we should only see slight changes in the Midfield. Then upfront in the attack is the antagonizing Duo Ciro Immobile and Joaquin Correa. The key player for the Lazio without question is Ciro Immobile he is one of the best strikers in the league when he is on his day as he is coming off two goals in his last game and he could be a big problem to a shaky Roma defense.
The bottom line is this game is different in any other match in the season. Team record and quality can be sometimes irrelevant because of the meaning of the match not only for the fans but the players themselves. This match is about bragging rights but it’s still important in terms of how they want to start the season on a good note. Roma historically has owned this matchup over time but nonetheless, Lazio is a worthy opponent who has the potential and ability to beat Roma. Last season these teams of split the season series with Roma winning with 3-1 and a Lazio crushing Roma 3-0. The team may be significantly different the last season but nonetheless, this Roma team still wants to get revenge on their noisy neighbors. Lazio has components that can be very dangerous notably their Strikers. Their Midfield and defense while strong is not intimidating but if Immobile has one of his best games it could be a serious problem for Roma given their problems defensively. Roma it’s going to be pretty simple they have a significantly stronger team collectively and the style of football that they play could be incredibly dangerous for Lazio to deal with. The bottom line of this match is Roma need to find a way to defend if they are able to defend at a much-improved level in comparison to the game last week. They should feel very good about picking up the three points against their heated Rivals. Paulo Fonseca attack was absolutely sensational many times throughout the 90 minutes last week in which Roma had three or four players going forward. This attack is acid fire they have the potential to score a lot of goals this season they just have to figure out a way to defend at a higher level. The Midfield and attack regardless of its personnel have pace intelligence and athleticism within it will be incredibly difficult for to Lazio to deal with the speed from Justin Kluivert Nicolo Zaniolo and Cengiz Under. Not to mention we could see the debut of Jordan Veretout in the Roma Jersey who has previously scored a hat-trick against Lazio. It will be a tough game on both teams. It will be a close game and no matter what the question is what team has the advantage. Roma is the better team & has the players around them to make things very difficult on Lazio. Lazio does not play the style of attacking football that can keep up with Paulo Fonseca’s attack. If Roma is able to be mistake-free defensively they should be significant favorites in this match. Lorenzo Pellegrini and Jordan Veretout are the keys they can control the game within the defensive Midfield orchestrating attack going forward through the speed they have me outside and give Edin Dzeko service in the middle. If the Bosnian is given service inside he will at some point find the back of the net. For Lazio, they have to rely on the connection of milinkovic-Savic and Immobile if they’re able to get into tight spaces and Roma isn’t mistake-free Lazio certainly has a chance to when this game. However, I do not think they will the reason being Francesco Acerbi is not expected to play the game he is one of Lazio’s best player in the defensive front it will be easier to cut through the gaps with his absence. Roma’s defense is a serious problem as well but the difference is Roma has the attack to cancel out their defensive shortcomings. Lazio does not have such benefit even though they have one of the best strikers in the League’s collectively the attack isn’t dangerous enough to overshadow a weakened defense without Francesco Acerbi.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-2-3-1
GK: Pau Lopez
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Gianluca Mancini, Alessandro Florenzi
DEF MID: Bryan Cristante, Lorenzo Pellegrini
ATT MID: Diego Perotti, Nicolo Zaniolo, Cengiz Under
Striker: Edin Dzeko
Manager: Paulo Fonseca
Lazio’s Projected starting XI 5-3-2
DEF: Manuel lazzari Radu Luiz Philippe Varvo & Lucic
Strikers: Ciro immobile, Joachim Correa
Lazio Manager: Simone Inzaghi
Players to Watch
Lorenzo Pellegrini & Ciro Immobile
Date: Sunday September 1st
Venue: Stadio Olimpico
Kickoff: 11:00AM (USA) 5:00PM (ENG), 6:00PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, ESPN+