Lazio vs Roma predictions: Biancocelesti can claim massive capital clash
- Lazio are unbeaten in last six home games against their fierce rivals, winning four
- Roma have beaten only struggling Spezia in their last six Serie A away games
- Recommended bet: Lazio to win
There is far more than mere bragging rights up for grabs in Sunday’s Rome derby, with both Lazio and Roma right in the hunt for Champions League places.
With both within touching distance of second place, the two capital clubs could yet qualify for the same Champions League campaign for the first time since 2007 — but both sets of supporters would much rather finish in the top four at the expense of their rivals rather than in addition.
Victory for either team at Stadio Olimpico this weekend would see them take a giant step towards realising that dream.
Lazio’s top scorer Ciro Immobile is out until April with a hamstring problem and Matias Vecino will be missing from midfield after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season.
Roma manager Jose Mourinho is banned from the touchline and centre-back Marash Kumbulla also serves a suspension after receiving a red card against Sassuolo last weekend.
Roma captain Lorenzo Pellegrini returned against Real Sociedad on Thursday but winger Ola Solbakken, centre-back Diego Llorente and defensive midfielder Ebrima Darboe are major doubts after missing out in midweek.
Wing-back Rick Karsdorp is also a major doubt after having to come off with a facial injury in that match.
While Rome’s Stadio Olimpico is home to both of the capital’s footballing giants, Lazio ended a six-season wait for an ‘away’ win against their fierce rivals with November’s 1-0 victory over Mourinho’s men.
But Lazio have a solid ‘home’ record against the Giallorossi, going unbeaten in six such meetings in all competitions and winning four.
Maurizio Sarri’s men are also in fine form domestically, losing only one of their last 10 Serie A matches — including impressive victories over AC Milan and leaders Napoli — to rise to third in the table prior to this weekend.
Roma’s form is erratic.
While Mourinho’s men earned victory over Juventus at the start of the month, they followed up with a 4-3 home loss to bottom-half Sassuolo and went into the Juve clash having suffered a shock defeat to ailing Cremonese.
On the road, Roma have beaten only struggling Spezia in their last six Serie A outings, drawing at Sassuolo and Lecce as well as Milan in that run but also losing to Napoli and handing Serie B-bound Cremonese their first league win this season.
While the close proximity of Lazio and Roma in the table may make the similar match winner prices for both look reasonable, home advantage and recent form both make Lazio look far more attractive, particularly as marginal outsiders of the two.
The Biancocelesti have enjoyed three wins and a draw in their last four home games against Roma and this season’s record of five wins — including in the reverse fixture of this weekend’s tie — from eight games against others in the top seven suggest Lazio can earn another vital victory.
Goals could be at a premium, however, given Roma’s defensive focus and the absence of Immobile for Lazio, who have only once scored more than a single goal in their last seven Serie A outings.
That makes under 2.5 goals look a decent addition to Bet Builder selections.
But the best bet is to back Sarri’s side to maintain their impressive form against a Roma team who are struggling to put a run of performances together.
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