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  07/11/2015: Preview: Roma - Lazio
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The Derby Della Capitale is finally upon us as Lazio face Roma this weekend at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Roma are coming off an impressive win over Bayer Leverkusen in Champion’s League group play and Lazio were also victorious midweek with a 2-0 win away to Rosenborg. Roma’s last match in Serie A saw them lose to a resurgent Inter by a score of 1-0, they arguably played better football and deserved more. Lazio have lost two in a row in Serie A and have fallen back into mid table mediocrity, the most recent loss came to AC Milan at home by a score of 3-1, ending their home winning streak at the Stadio Olimpico.
Roma are second in the table only a point adrift of league leaders Fiorentina and Inter on twenty-four points; Lazio sit a further five points back from Roma on eighteen and sit in seventh in the table. It has to be said that the five losses that Lazio have incurred thus far this season have taken them out of the race for the Scudetto and that European football should be set as a realistic target for this season’s goal. Look no further than Roma’s second place in 2013-14 with seven draws and five losses and their 2014-2015 second place finish with thirteen draws and only six losses.

Lazio have done more midweek travelling as their Europa match was played away in Norway; however, Roma do face concerns of their own. Maicon and Totti have both been ruled out for this match due to injury and De Rossi and Florenzi are questionable but may tough out their knocks given the magnitude of this match. Pjanic will be ruled out due to his red card received against Inter last weekend. Lazio will be without De Vrij who is gone for the season and undergoing rehab on his knee. Marco Parolo made an impressive effort but it does not look like he will be available to Pioli, he should be fully fit and ready to return after the international break. Keita, Djordjevic and Klose are all fully fit and available to play.

In Goal for Lazio, Marchetti should start, Berisha once again performed admirably against Rosenborg on Thursday, he commanded his space in the box. In front of Marchetti in the center of defense we should see both Gentiletti and Mauricio start for Lazio, Hoedt will be available if called upon. On the left and ride hand sides of defense for Lazio we should see both Lulic and Basta start, they were rested against Rosenborg in favour of Radu and Konko. More will be needed from the Lazio back line, defensive errors will be punished, lapses in concentration can simply not happen.

In midfield for Lazio we should see both Biglia and Onazi in the two deeper midfielder roles that in the 2-3 midfield formation that Pioli likes to field. Biglia was rested against Rosenborg and Onazi was arguably the best Lazio player on the field, this should earn him the start over Cataldi. The flanks will be led by both Anderson and Candreva for Lazio in the wide attacking midfield roles, Anderson was also rested against Rosenborg and Candreva was subbed off at half and put in a lack luster performance, more will be needed from both of these men if Lazio hope to obtain a result from this match.

In the center play maker role we may see Mauri start this weekend, Pioli will quite possibly opt for experience in this match. Further to that, it is likely that Klose may start as the lone attacker for Lazio, once again his experience, composure and potential impact as a starter could prove to be extremely valuable. To say this is a must win match for Lazio is an understatement, a result is crucial; let’s hope that the stands are full and that this will be a derby for all Laziali to remember for years to come.

Forza Lazio!

Author: Michael Petricca
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