Friday, January 9, 2015 5:26 pm
Italy’s current top four teams are set to square off on Sunday, with Roma ‘hosting’ Lazio in the Rome derby while league leaders and defending champions Juventus visit Napoli later on Sunday.
The duo of matches presents third placed Lazio and fourth placed Napoli – both on 30 points – with a chance to close in on leading duo Juve – with 40 points – and Roma – with 39 points at the halfway stage of the season.
Juve will be wary of its trip to the Sao Paolo Stadium, having been held to a dramatic 2-2 draw by Napoli in December in the Italian Supercoppa match; which Napoli went on to win on penalties in Qatar.
Massimo Allegri’s men go into the tie with just one win from its last six matches in all competitions and go up against a Napoli side that has lost just one of its last 13 matches in all competitions; winning four of its last five.
Juve would have to improve in front of goal if it hopes to improve its recent record, with seven goals scored in its last six matches having scored 19 goals in the six matches before this current run.
But momentum is on Rafa Benitez’s side having scored 11 goals in the last five matches, with a win on Sunday over the champions bound to boost Napoli’s ambitions of challenging for the Scudetto and reaching next season’s UEFA Champions League.
Lazio, celebrating its 115th anniversary today, currently occupies the last Champions League spot and would hope cap the anniversary weekend by claiming bragging rights over Roma in the Derby della Capitale.
Biancocelesti head into the derby in good form, unbeaten in its last six with four matches won in that run. Lazio have also won four of the last seven matches between both clubs with the last meeting ending goalless almost a year ago.
Roma meanwhile has not conceded in its last three matches although has scored just two goals in its last four matches. The Giallorossi have also won just won of the last seven derby matches.
Elsewhere in Serie A this weekend, on-loan Atletico Madrid forward Alessio Cerci is in line to feature for AC Milan against his former club Torino on Saturday while Inter Milan will look on building on the draw at Juve on Tuesday in the match against fifth placed Genoa at the San Siro.