Match Preview: Lazio Vs Roma- Two Former Chelsea Managers Go Head-To-Head In The Rome Derby

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Two clubs, one city and two managers with a shared connection in the past. Lazio with Maurizio Sarri host Roma under in the first Rome derby of the season.

It has been a strong start to the season for the Biancocelesti, picking up eight points from five matches. However, their form of late has not been the greatest with no wins in the past four games. They rescued a point at the death against Torino but their defence looks fallible often.

 

 

Talisman Ciro Immobile has been scoring regularly which is a bonus and will be a key asset against the disciplined visitors. If the leaks in the backline can be patched up, Lazio have more than a fair chance of making it a contest.

The Giallorossi sit fourth in the table, taking four wins from five, with Mourinho reminding onlookers how he is far from finished at the top level. Their attack has been reinvigorated by the addition of and the goalscoring nous of Lorenzo Pellegrini but some niggly issues persist.

 

 

Roma have let in five goals in their past four games, including three against Hellas Verona. Their fluid game plan ensures that they can both hold what they have or go in search of more goals until the final whistle. On paper, the visitors certainly are the favourites to take the win.

 

TEAM NEWS

Mattia Zacagni remains the only absentee for Lazio while Sarri is likely to stick with the same defence one more time. He rested a few of his key players like Sergei Milinkovic-Savic and Pedro against Torino, both of whom are likely to come straight back into the team.

 

PROBABLE LINE-UP: Reina; Marusic, Felipe, Acerbi, Hysaj; Luis Alberto, Leiva, Milinkovic-Savic; Anderson, Immobile, Pedro

 

Leonardo Spinazzola remains a long-term absentee while Matias Vina has joined him on the injury list. Pellegrini’s two yellows last time out against Udinese means he will also sit out the derby.

 

PROBABLE LINE-UP: Patricio; Karsdorp, Mancini, Ibanez, Calafiori; Cristante, Veretout; Zaniolo, Diawara, Mkhitaryan; Abraham

 

GAMECHANGERS

Mourinho’s magic in working with strikers is on show once again with Abraham. The 23-year-old, having been frozen out at Chelsea, has hit the ground running in Italy. Three goals, two assists in six games across all competitions have sparked talks of an England recall. His quick movement, intelligent running and fearsome strikes cause problems for any opposition he comes up against.

 

 

This will be the case against Lazio, with both Acerbi and Felipe not the quickest. That will mean a midfielder having to drop back, allowing Roma’s attackers to exploit the space. Furthermore, Abraham is no slouch in the aerial department either and his team has some great set-piece takers who can delivery accurate balls.

 

 

Against one striker will come up another in the shape of Immobile. Six goals already has seen him aim for the top-scoring charts once again. Immobile remains the most potent threat for Lazio, given his proven track record. His physicality and unerring finish will be a handful for the young backline of the away side who need to be alert at all times.

 

 

With Pedro and Anderson manning the wings, Immobile knows he can layoff the ball to his supporting cast before making runs into the box. Roma were guilty of giving away a few cheap fouls in dangerous areas last season and will hope to avoid those this time.

 

PREDICTIONS

The derby between the two bitter rivals has always been charged with emotions and fireworks on the pitch. Roma have form on their side but a fast start by Lazio can cause them problems. FootTheBall predicts a 2-1 win for the visitors and Mourinho.

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