Lazio and Roma, who compete against one other on Sunday at Stadio Olimpico, are only two points and two positions apart in the Serie A rankings.
Lazio suffered a second 2-1 defeat to AZ within a week, resulting in their exit from the Europa Conference League at the last-16 stage.
Despite the loss being far from ideal preparation for the Rome Derby on Sunday, it does mean that Lazio can focus solely on pursuing a Champions League return for next season. As luck would have it, one of their competitors for a top-four finish is their local rivals, Roma.
Under Maurizio Sarri, Lazio has secured a draw with Bologna and defeated league leaders Napoli in their last two games. Their recent good form has seen them lose only one out of their last 10 games and climb to third place in the league standings.
With no further distractions in the form of European competition, Lazio will be looking to capitalize on their recent form and secure a spot in the Champions League for next season.
Lazio Serie A Form: L W W W D
In contrast to their local rivals, Roma’s recent success in the continental competition has been impressive. They secured a place in the Europa League last eight by holding Real Sociedad goalless in San Sebastian following their Europa Conference League triumph last year.
Roma lost to last-placed Cremonese, who had knocked them out of the Coppa Italia, before beating Juventus. However, their recent domestic form could have been better.
In their last match against Emilian, they suffered a 4-2 defeat after trailing 2-1 and having Marash Kumbulla dismissed. Even though Paulo Dybala’s second-half strike gave them hope, their chances were crushed by conceding a fourth goal later.
While Roma’s recent form in continental competition has been impressive, their domestic form could be more consistent. They must improve to secure a place in the top four and qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Roma Serie A Form: D W L W L
Lazio’s top scorer Ciro Immobile has been ruled out of the upcoming game due to a thigh injury. Unfortunately, this is the latest in a series of injuries that have disrupted his season.
Meanwhile, Adam Marusic is expected to return to the team at right-back after serving a domestic suspension last week. However, Matias Vecino will not be available due to a ban on accumulated bookings.
Roma’s captain Lorenzo Pellegrini is set to return to the team for the upcoming game, having missed their last match due to a head injury sustained in training. His return will be a significant boost for the team.
However, Marash Kumbulla will be unavailable due to suspension after being shown a red card in their previous game against Sassuolo.
Furthermore, Rick Karsdorp is also set to miss the upcoming game due to a broken nose, which will require surgery.
Lazio’s predicted starting lineup:
Provedel; Marusic, Casale, Romagnoli, Hysaj; Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Alberto; Pedro, Anderson, Zaccagni
Roma’s predicted starting lineup:
Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Zalewski, Cristante, Matic, Spinazzola; Pellegrini, Dybala; Abraham
Head to Head
The upcoming match between Lazio and Roma will mark the 180th edition of the Derby della Capitale.
Roma currently leads the head-to-head record with 68 wins, while Lazio has 49 wins.
Time, Date & Venue
Date: Sunday, March 19
Time: 01:00 pm, ET
Venue: Stadio Olimpico stadium, Rome
Given the importance of this match and the possibility of both teams being cautious, it’s likely to be a closely contested encounter.