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This is "Derby della Capitale", a match between Lazio and Roma. According to locals, this derby is "much more than just a game." The Roman derby has been the scene of several actions related to the political views of the fan bases. Lazio's ultras often use fascist symbols on their banners and they have displayed racist behaviour in several occasions during the derbies. Most notably at a derby of the season 1998/99 when laziali unfurled a 50-metre banner around the Curva Nord that read, "Auschwitz is your town, the ovens are your houses". Remarkably, Lazio reflects its fans' sentiments. Unlike Roma or almost every other team in the Series A, Lazio's roster is usually devoid of black players. Black players of Roma have often been receivers of racist and offensive behaviour; a banner that Lazio's ultras had once displayed claimed that Roma is a "Team of niggers followed by Jews". Officially, the club has distanced itself from these fans, who make up a minority, and fights to combat these kind of actions. As a result Roma fans are sometimes incorrectly depicted as left wing, when in fact both clubs' ultras have right wing ideologies. Roma fans have also been known to hold up racist banners from time to time. Now about the match.
Lazio are currently in the middle of the table with 16 points. The Biancocelesti are five points away from the Top-4 and the fans are not satisfied. The actual form is mixed, they lost 1:0 to Bologna in Serie A last weekend, while beat 1:0 Feyenoord on Tuesday in the Champions League. The goal was scored by Ciro Immobile and it was his 200th goal for the club. But Sarri has some injury worries. Mattia Zaccagni may miss the derby after being forced off by a knee injury against Feyenoord. Defender Nicolo Casale will definitely skip the match and his absence is a big handicap. To be worse, Luis Alberto and Adam Marusic are rated as doubtful due to muscular and ankle injury respectively.
Roma have 17 points and they sit few places above Lazio. They had a slow start to Serie A, but the last results are much better. The Giallorossi have four victories in the last five league matches, largely thanks to the input of loan striker Romelu Lukaku. Last week Roma obtained a dramatic
2:1 win over Lecce, when Lukaku and Sardar Azmoun both scored during the stoppage time. I believe the atmosphere in the squad is good, even they lost 2:0 to Slavia Prague in Europe League. Mourinho has the majority of his players ready, but Abraham and Smalling remain sidelined due to injuries. Leandro Paredes should start in midfield after serving a suspension.
Lazio vs Roma Prediction:
This is a personal battle between Mourinho and Sarri. The tension between the two coaches is very high at the moment. Mourinho, who was verbally attacked by Sarri (said Roma have a friendly match in Prague), answered by comparing his personal haul of 25 trophies to Sarri's more modest CV and referred to his 'mentality'. Nevertheless, the derbies are usually tense, so this is not a strange situation. Lazio won both games last season. The last time they won three consecutive league games against Roma was back in 2012. Furthermore, Lazio are unbeaten in their last six Serie A "home fixtures" versus Roma. But every series must come to the end at some time and I think this is a perfect moment for Roma. Their main job will be to stop Immobile and I am sure Mourinho will prepare a good tactic. On the other side, Roma have player able to make a difference - Romelu Lukaku. And don't forget Dybala. According to me, Roma will win the derby.
Lazio vs Roma Pick: Roma to win @ 2.67 with Pinnacle