Lazio v Roma 2018 - 2019 Match Preview
The first Rome derby of the season takes place on 29th September, with both Lazio and Roma fresh from top five finishes in Serie A last term. The pair have begun the new campaign with enough optimism to suggest they can challenge for honours again this time around but, as ever in Rome, beating their footballing rivals in the Italian capital remains top of the agenda for both sets of fans.
Honours have been fairly evenly shared in the last couple of seasons. Roma have boasted two league wins and a Coppa Italia victory in the last five derbies, with Lazio notching a cup triumph and a Serie A win. Roma shaded last term’s encounters with a narrow 2-1 success in the league in November before the sides played out a goalless draw in April.
Roma retain the fixture’s overall bragging rights with 64 Derby della Capitale wins - 12 more than Lazio’s victory tally. This game has historically thrown up plenty of stalemates – around one-third of the derbies have ended in a draw.
Head to Bet UK's sportsbook for the latest Roma v Lazio odds. Roma are 7/5* favourites to win the game, with away side Lazio at betting odds of 37/20 Bet UK's boost for the match is Roma to Win, BTTS and Dzeko to score anytime, was 7/2, NOW 5/1*.
The Quest To Be The Italian Capital's ‘Top Dogs’ Of Football
Fans of both clubs view the fixture as the highlight of the season, and being crowned top dog in Rome is often seen as being just as important as wider Italian league success. The pair ended last season on an almost even footing – Roma finishing five points above Lazio – and the race to be the city’s top side is likely to be a close one again.
The Rome derby tends to be a heated affair with a deep-rooted cultural and historical base. Despite the northern Italian teams like Juventus, AC Milan and Inter continuing to dominate football in the country, the Rome clash remains the country’s biggest and most bad-tempered footballing rivalry.
Indeed, it’s a curious quirk that Italy’s top tier is becoming increasingly northern-centric. 15 out of the 20 clubs competing in the 2018-19 season are based north of Rome. That northward-trend in Italian football intensifies the necessity for both of these clubs to continue pushing the likes of Juventus and the two Milan giants at the summit of Serie A.
Roma presently display the potential to do just that after last season’s third-place finish was combined with a successful European football campaign. Lazio are also fresh from a solid season which contained plenty of ups, and a few downs, but which included both a domestic cup final and Europa League quarter-final appearance.
The revival in the capital side’s fortunes is notable and average attendances inside the ground shared by the pair were up by 4,000 on the previous season. The Roman renaissance stems in part from the presence of two energetic young managers in charge at Lazio and Roma, each with a clear – if contrasting – vision on how to play the game.
The Two Managers Leading The Roman Charge
This season is Eusebio Di Francesco’s second in charge of Roma. The 48-year-old won the Serie A title as a midfielder with the giallorossi, and his debut season as manager proved to be something of a triumph. A solid domestic campaign was capped with a Champions League semi-final appearance. Di Francesco made his name at Sassuolo and his possession-based, attacking approach has drawn comparisons with Carlo Ancelotti and Antonio Conte.
Roma’s sporting director, transfer guru Monchi, had a busy summer bringing in talent with the aim of launching a genuine title charge this season. The Giallorossi snapped up a number of rising stars, including Ante Coric, Justin Kluivert and Bryan Cristante, as well as Ivan Marcano – an experienced central defender who arrived on the back of a title-winning season with FC Porto.
Meanwhile, in the opposing dugout, Simone Inzaghi is into his third season in charge of Lazio and his unique brand of football continues to push I Biancocelesti onwards. Utilising a ruthless counter-attacking style underpinned by pace and strength throughout the side, many are taking note of Inzaghi’s progress at the helm of the club at which he used to play as a striker.
Lazio have some hot young talent of their own with the likes of Sergej Milinković-Savić establishing himself as one of European football’s brightest prospects. The 23-year-old played a starring role in Inzaghi’s midfield last season.
With a Lazio attack spearheaded by Ciro Immobile, goals should once again be guaranteed from the side who were Serie A’s highest scorers last season, and this game could prove to be a battle of the number nines with Edin Dzeko continuing his renaissance for Roma.
The re-emergence of both of these clubs and their continued progression bodes well for Italian football. Serie A has an increasingly competitive look with a strong Roma and Lazio challenging at the top.
One of today’s opponents will emerge as Rome’s victor again come the end of the season, but when the whistle goes at the Stadio Olimpico, all that matters for the next 90 minutes is winning the day.
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