Lazio vs AS Roma
Rome derbies are always massive affairs, but this first clash of the Serie A season between Roma and Lazio will be even more crucial because of the major ramifications to the title race.
While Lazio were contending for their first Scudetto in decades last season, this year it’s Roma’s turn to rise up and challenge at the top of the table. The Giallorossi are currently in third place, just behind the two Milan clubs, while Lazio have slipped down to eighth.
However, the Biancocelesti are coming off back-to-back wins and will be eager to put a huge dent in their city rivals’ title hopes by beating them in the derby.
Lazio starting the year strong
Lazio have had a fairly inconsistent league campaign thus far, but they have been looking better in recent weeks. They are unbeaten in their first three matches of 2021 and have won back-to-back games against Fiorentina and Parma.
Granted, all three of their opponents during this recent run are in the bottom half of the table, but it should still please manager Simone Inzaghi that his side is finally stringing together some consistent performances.
Inzaghi should also be pleased that Felipe Caicedo is back to creating Serie A 2021 highlights. The Ecuadorian striker has scored in back-to-back matches and attempted a whopping seven shots in their win over Parma.
Caicedo’s improved form has helped take the pressure off star striker Ciro Immobile. The Lazio captain failed to score against Parma, snapping his streak of five straight games with a goal. The reigning Capocannoniere is having another outstanding season with 11 goals in 15 league appearances.
Immobile has a stellar scoring record in Rome derbies, with 6 goals in 9 meetings against Roma in his career.
While Lazio have been inconsistent this season, they have still been able to raise their game against other top teams. They drew against both Inter and Juventus and beat Napoli quite convincingly at home, then gave Milan a good fight in a 3-2 defeat.
Roma remaining in the title race
Roma are not ready to exit the Serie A title race just yet. They remain within striking distance of the two Milan clubs after they held Inter to a 2-2 draw thanks to a late Gianluca Mancini equaliser. That result snapped Roma’s run of three games in a row.
Roma have had quite a solid record against the top title contenders this season. They’ve now drawn with both Milan clubs, as well as reigning champions Juventus.
The Giallorossi’s Serie A 2021 odds to win the league weren’t great to start, but they have had a lot of success this season, in large part due to the remarkable form of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The former Manchester United and Arsenal playmaker is having a career resurgence at age 31 as he leads the club with 8 goals and 8 assists.
Captain Edin Dzeko continues to contribute his share of goals at age 34 – he has 7 on the season – while midfielder Jordan Veretout (7 goals, 4 from the penalty spot) is also having a terrific campaign.
Veteran forward Pedro is still trying to make his way back from a muscle injury. But even if he doesn’t return in time for the derby, Lorenzo Pellegrini has proven to be a capable replacement.
Manager Paulo Fonseca is unlikely to make any further changes to a settled starting XI. First-choice keeper Antonio Mirante has been missing since Christmas due to injury, though, so Pau Lopez looks set to continue in goal.
Roma have had the upper hand over rivals Lazio in recent derbies. Roma have a 13-7 edge in terms of wins over their last 27 league meetings, while there have been 7 draws.
However, Lazio have made things much more competitive in recent years. They drew both derbies 1-1 last season, and on both occasions, Lazio came back to equalise after Roma went ahead.
In their previous five meetings, both sides each had two wins in the previous five meetings.
|Lazio vs AS Roma||1X2 Draw @ 3.35|
|January 16, 03:45 (GMT+8)|
The SBOTOP odds for this Rome derby are understandably close. Roma are the slight favourites at 2.44 and Lazio aren’t far behind at 2.78. Meanwhile, a draw is 3.35.
Despite Roma being higher up in the table, these two clubs are quite evenly matched. Lazio have shown they can raise their game against the top competition, and Roma have done the same.
There really isn’t too much between the two sides, which is why I anticipate this Rome derby to be a hard-fought draw.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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