The Stadio Olimpico will play host to an intense derby this Saturday, and Lazio find themselves heading into the game in the better form.
Lazio will face Roma for the first Rome derby of the season on Saturday, and head into the game as favorites.
Roma have only won twice all season with Eusebio di Francesco’s side having struggled so far this campaign; they are usually at least marginal favorites for the game.
Since beating Torino on the opening day of the season, Roma have struggled for form. Draws with Atalanta and Chievo Verona were their only points on the board until this week, with losses coming against AC Milan, Benevento, Real Madrid and Bologna.
Goals have been hard to come by, with only seven in the league until they played Frosinone and scored four midweek, and Roma currently sit tenth.
Lazio, in contrast, have won each of their last five games, conceding just three in that period.
Genoa were their victims at the weekend, with a scoreline of four goals to one, while Udinese lost 1-2 to Lazio on Wednesday night. Lazio go into the game in third place.
Lucas will be important in controlling and managing the game for Lazio, protecting his back three from Lorenzo Pellegrini running from deep, and potential runs from midfield from Javier Pastore, Steven N’Zonzi and Stephan El Shaarawy.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic against Daniele De Rossi in the centre of the park is a fascinating battle between steel and guile.
Ciro Immobile had got three goals in five games prior to midweek when he was rested for more than half of Lazio’s game with Udinese. He will test Federico Fazio and Kostas Manolas, the Roma center-backs and will be refreshed.
Martin Caceres and Francesco Acerbi are likely to form part of Lazio’s back three. While Roma had struggled for goals before Wednesday, Edin Dzeko, Diego Perotti and Justin Kluivert are not easy to keep shackled.
Roma certainly have the edge over Lazio in recent meetings, winning half of the last twenty matches between the teams.
They won 2-1 as hosts last year (although both teams share the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, so neither side are truly away from home), with the reverse match ending 0-0.
The teams were drawn together in the Coppa Italia semi-final in 2017, with Lazio going through to the final 4-3 on aggregate.
Not since the 2015-16 season has either side done the double over the other, when Roma won 1-4 and 2-0, so prepare for a close and intense game. A red card or two would be little surprise in a feisty atmosphere.