League action returns this weekend following a midweek spent enjoying the best the UEFA Champions League and Europa League has to offer. In Italy, five games will be played on Sunday, with the schedule taking followers from 11:30 through to 20:30 GMT. The standout of the matches pairs Roma and Lazio in a match that kicks off at 17:00 and will be screened live to a global television audience. This is a fixture involving two teams who are completely confident that they are the better team and good enough to win all three points here.
Neither team will pose a threat to AC Milan, Inter Milan and Napoli, who are currently involved in a three-way fight for the Serie A title, but they are in the running for a European finish and place in next season’s Champions League or Europa League. At this stage, Roma or Lazio could force their way into the top six and slug it out for one of the prize places. Nothing will be decided here in terms of finishing position, but victory would be a major boost for either team’s chances while giving their fans something to celebrate.
Sunday’s match will be the second time these teams have met this season, and armchair fans planning to watch the play hope this renewal lives up to the drama of the last meeting. The rivals served up a stunning five-goal match back in September, a game Lazio won at home thanks to a 3-2 scoreline. The victors raced into an early two-goal lead and never looked like losing the match, a late consolation goal from Roma giving the final score a competitive edge. Will we see more goals on Sunday, and which team will bag the points?
Roma start in sixth
Roma started this week sitting sixth in Serie A thanks to a decent run of form that has seen them win two and draw three of their last five league starts. Their tally for the season stands at 14 wins and six draws against nine defeats, with 47 goals scored and 35 conceded. When we take a closer look at those numbers, we note that Roma have found the net more times than Juventus, who are currently holding their own in the top four and edging towards the Champions League, but they have also suffered the same number of defeats as Udinese who are down in 14th.
Roma did put together back to back wins to enhance their chances of bagging a European finish, but they failed to complete the hattrick, having to settle for a share of the spoils in their most recent start. They finished February with a 1-0 away win over Spezia thanks to a winning goal that was scored by Abraham deep into added on time at the end of play. That goal hit the net with 99 minutes on the clock, and it was a penalty to cap a dramatic finish. That was a little too close for comfort, in the opinion of the coaching staff.
Roma then added a win when getting the better of Atalanta at home to start March in style, but that was another fixture packed with controversy. Abraham was again the player that made the difference, scoring on 32 minutes before the game descended into chaos. Both teams were reduced to 10 men in the closing exchanges, with de Roon ordered off just before Mkhitaryan was sent for an early shower. Two narrow wins were followed by a 1-0 away to Vitesse in the Europa Conference League and a 1-1 draw at Udinese last weekend.
Lazio lack composure
Lazio remain in the hunt for the prize places this season but have lacked the consistency needed to become a force in the competition. A finish in the top four and spot in next season’s Champions League isn’t impossible at this stage, but it’s looking increasingly unlikely with the passing of every match as Lazio continue to drop points. Their last five results at this level consist of three wins, a draw and defeat. They have 46 points on the board, which is two fewer than their hosts. A win here would see Lazio leapfrog Roma in the pecking order.
In their last three league games, we’ve seen an even spread of one win, a draw and defeat, taking just four of the last nine points available to them. They started March with a confidence boosting 3-0 away win recorded over Cagliari on Saturday 5th, and that result would have done wonders for confidence. The goals that day were scored by Immobile, who broke the deadlock on 19 minutes from the penalty spot before Alconchel added a second before halftime, and Anderson put the game to bed with a third just after the hour mark.
We last saw Lazio in action on Monday evening when hosting Venezia. The schedule favours Roma as they have had more recovery time than Lazio, but the players camped in the away dressing room before kick-off know what’s expected of them. They are fit enough and experienced enough to ensure they are ready to put on a show when travelling to Roma. Lazio have failed to impress at times over their last five games, but they are capable of winning this match, and that’s exactly what they will aim to achieve.
Roma v Lazio prediction
This is a meeting of two teams that are evenly matched on paper, and both are more than capable of winning this game. If Roma are anywhere near their best, they should use the backing of the support to nick a result but know they can’t afford to take Lazio lightly. The stats show these rivals have a combined four draws in their last five league starts.
Serie A odds
The 22bet betting odds have Roma priced at 2.496 to win this game with Lazio at 2.896 and the draw 3.26. Members can bet on the game before kick-off or at any stage of the 90 minutes.
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