Two top-four contenders in Serie A will go head-to-head on Sunday when 3rd-placed Lazio host 5th-placed Roma at the Stadio Olimpico from 17:00 GMT.
This hotly contested Rome derby will have far-reaching ramifications for both sides as they bid to qualify for the Champions League next season by virtue of a top-four finish in Serie A.
With two points separating these fierce rivals, this match will take significance for both teams as the run-in picks up steam.
Lazio’s Unbeaten Run
Maurizio Sarri’s men have won the last four matches unbeaten, including a run of three consecutive wins, which was altered last weekend when Lazio were held to a 0-0 stalemate at Bologna.
Sarri and his charges responded to the stunning 0-2 home defeat against Atalanta with three straight wins over Salernitana (0-2), Sampdoria (1-0), and Napoli (0-1).
Lazio will look to leverage this form and take the momentum into the derby against Roma on Sunday with three points crucial for their top-four status in Serie A.
Roma’s Hot and Cold Form
Jose Mourinho’s Roma are just 2 points behind 3rd-placed Lazio and just a point behind 4th-placed Milan. They will be looking for a win to move into the top four on Sunday as the run-in picks up steam in Serie A.
In their last five outings, Roma have won just twice. They have lost two times and had one draw. They have picked up 8 points out of the available 15. This inconsistency has seen Roma drop from the top four.
Therefore, Jose Mourinho and his charges will look to regain their winning form when they play their fierce rivals. Mourinho will especially be looking to bounce back from the high-score 3-4 reverse his side suffered last Sunday at home to Sassuolo.
Maurizio Sarri will be without center-forward Ciro Immobile for the derby on Sunday. The Italian international has been nursing a biceps femoris muscle injury since March 5, 2023. The 33-year-old has missed 3 matches for Lazio already and is unlikely to be available for the derby.
Lazio will also be without right-back Elseid Hysaj for the clash on Sunday. The 29-year-old fullback is sidelined with an ankle injury since March 11, 2023. Hysaj has missed 2 matches already for Sarri’s men and is unlikely to be available for the derby on Sunday.
Lazio will also be without central midfielder Matias Vecino, suspended until March 20, 2023.
Jose Mourinho will be without defensive midfielder Ebrima Darboe, who is nursing a cruciate ligament surgery. The 21-year-old has been unavailable for selection since July 21. 2022.
Roma will also be without right winger Ola Solbakken. The 24-year-old is sidelined with a muscle injury and has been unavailable for selection since March 4, 2023.
Center-forward Diego Llorente is also unavailable with adductor problems limiting his participation since March 9, 2023.
Roma will also be without the services of enter-back Marash Kumbulla, suspended until April 3rd, 2023.
I. Provedel; L. Pellegrini, A. Ramagnoli, Patric, A. Marusic; L. Alberto. D. Cataldi, S. Miinkovic-Savic; M. Zaccagni, Pedro, F. Anderson
R. Patricio; R. Ibanez, C. Smalling, R. Karsdorp; N. Zalewski, E. Bove, N. Matic, L. Spinazzola; G. Wijnaldum, II Faraone; T. Abraham
Lazio will look to press Roma high up the pitch. They will squeeze the pitch with a high line, try to dominate possession, dictate the tempo, and create goal-scoring chances.
Roma will be compact and solid in their approach. They will attack mainly on the counterattack.
Roma will win the match and bolster their chances of finishing in Serie A’s top four.
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