Vladimir Petkovic points out pre-season Roma were expected to do better than Lazio, but they are in front now ahead of tomorrow’s Derby della Capitale.
The game has been pushed back to Monday evening at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) because Lazio had to play the Europa League quarter-final on Thursday. Click here for a match preview.
“In July we were not even considered to be candidates for European qualification. Nobody thought we could even compete,” smiled Petkovic in his Press conference.
“I am very proud of the way our season is going. We are in good shape at the moment and I see the lads calm in training. We’ve played several important matches this term and that can help us to prepare, even if the European journeys are not helping our fitness levels.
“Miroslav Klose trained and is doing well. He’s not at 100 per cent, but I have another day to evaluate his condition for the Derby.
“In this game every detail can be decisive. Lazio must remain solid and maintain that team spirit if we want to achieve our objective.”
Lazio are three points clear of rivals Roma, but have also reached the Europa League quarter-finals and the Coppa Italia Final.
“Roma have done well recently and found their shape,” continued Petkovic. “This is a compact side that will try to win. I am not worried by any individual players in particular, though I obviously have respect for their qualities.
“Lazio must play our usual game, which is to put Roma under pressure. I expect them to be more prudent than under Zdenek Zeman, but we can still try to make the most of their weak points.
“We’ll give our all to win the Derby, without thinking about the other results or our position in the table. We’re hungry for this game and want to give more than 100 per cent.
“The two-week break for international duty came at the right time, so we have the right sharpness to play this derby with open and attacking football. It will take a superlative Lazio to win.”