Pitchside Europe

European match of the weekend: Lazio v Roma

The Derby della Capitale finds Lazio and Roma separated by just two points in the Serie A table, and with both clubs' ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League adding further spice to the ever-explosive fixture.

Lazio and Roma are fifth and sixth in Serie A, respectively, after inconsistent starts to the campaign, and it is sure to be an intriguing battle with both sides set to deploy three central midfielders.

With Zdenek Zeman in charge of Roma it is almost impossible to think that it will be a cagey encounter, with a wealth of attacking talent on show from both sides.

For Lazio, Brazilian playmaker Hernanes is worth watching alone, while Miroslav Klose has not lost his eye for goal, having already scored six times in 10 matches so far this season.

Meanwhile, Erik Lamela has showed what a precocious talent he is, and the 17 million euros signing is now the joint-second scorer in the league with seven goals to his name.

Oh, and there is the Francesco Totti renaissance, of course. The iconic Roma star is a doubt for Sunday's clash after he pulled up with a hip problem during training on Friday.

Totti, who has scored four goals so far this season, is at 36 still Roma's key man in attack, having drawn plaudits for his renewed energy under new manager Zeman.

Equally, Pablo Osvaldo is one of the most explosive strikers around which, all in all, means that Roma possess one of the more potent strike forces around.

Vladimir Petkovic has a strong defence, however, with Andre Dias surely one of the most imposing centre halves in Europe.

Petkovic has the Romanian Stefan Raduavailable again after injury, which might push Senad Lulic into a more advanced role.

As for the midfield battles, fireworks can always be expected from Daniele De Rossi and Cristian Ledesma, in particular, in what is set to be a fiercely-competitive centre of the field.

Indeed, the match-up has provided 376 goals for an average of 2.2 goals per match.

The Giallorossi have the edge on the head-to-head record over the years—winning 63 of the 170 encounters since 1929, while the Biancocelesti have won 47 times.

The clash has all the ingredients of being one of the games of the season, and it is certainly the match not to miss this weekend.

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