One of the most anticipated fixtures in Italian football is set to unfold this weekend as Roma and Lazio prepare to clash in the first Derby della Capitale of the 2023/24 season.
With just one point separating them in the Serie A table, each side will be thirsty for all three points after both teams suffered missteps in the early part of their respective campaigns. The Derby rarely fails to deliver, and this encounter is expected to be no different.
Kick-off is scheduled for 18.00 CET at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Roma enter Sunday in a peculiar situation given their poor midweek performance in the Europa League when they fell 2-0 to hosts Slavia Praha. Manager Jose Mourinho was critical of his team’s attitude and performance in the tie after they failed to build on the momentum from last weekend’s victory at the death over Lecce.
Nonetheless, his team face a must-win against Maurizio Sarri’s men and can’t afford to lose any more ground in the race for top four.
Paulo Dybala and Romelu Lukaku are expected to start in attack together for the first time in over a month—the last time occurring 8 October against Cagliari. While the Giallorossi are still without captain Lorenzo Pellegrini and Chris Smalling, they received a boost earlier in the week when Leonardo Spinazzola recovered from a muscle injury and returned to training—he’s expected to start on the left flank.
Much will be expected of Jose and Mourinho and Roma given they’ve only won two of their last eight derbies and failed to score both fixtures last season.
Maurizio Sarri’s side, on the other hand, bounced back from their league defeat to Bologna and won their midweek Champions League fixture over Feyenoord.
Prior to their defeat against Thiago Motta’s side, the Biancocelesti were winners of their last three league fixtures, defeating Atalanta, Sassuolo, and Fiorentina in the process. Sarri is expected to have the majority of his team available with Mattia Zaccagni expected to be the only major absentee.
Midfielder Luis Alberto and fullback Adam Marusic are both expected to start for Lazio after recovering from their respective knocks. In addition, goalscorer Ciro Immobile will make his first Derby appearance in over a year after missing out on both games last season.
LAZIO (4-3-3): Provedel; Lazzari, Patric, Romganoli, Marusic; Guendouzi, Rovella, Luis Alberto; Felipe Anderson, Immobile, Pedro
Unavailable: Mattia Zaccagni, Nicolo Casale
ROMA (3-5-2): Rui Patricio; Mancini, Llorente, Ndicka; Karsdorp, Cristante, Paredes, Renato Sanches, Spinazzola; Lukaku, Dybala
Unavailable: Tammy Abraham, Marash Kumbulla, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Chris Smalling