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Friday September 20 2013
The derby of all derbies

Alex Mott looks ahead to this weekend’s bitter Derby della Capitale – the first since that famous Coppa Italia Final.

There’s perhaps no capital city in Europe that can boast a derby like it. Berlin? No. Paris? Definitely not. London? Arguably – although Fulham-Chelsea never seems to set the heart racing. Two top sides in the highest Division, battling like their lives depend on it – only the Derby della Capitale can truly offer the passion, intensity, rivalry and bitterness that fans all over Europe expect from a pair of local clubs going at it.

It’s Roma versus Lazio this Sunday, and it’s one of the most hotly-anticipated Eternal City League derbies in recent memory. Both teams go into the match having made decent starts to the 2013-14 campaign. The Giallorossi are unbeaten under new man Rudi Garcia, winning three out of three, and are impressing supporters everywhere with their intricate, fluid and pacey brand of football.

Monday’s win over Parma showed all that was best with the Lupi this term – a solid backline with new boys Maicon and Mehdi Benatia, an all-purpose midfield boasting Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman and Miralem Pjanic, and seemingly ever-young Francesco Totti flanked by Adem Ljajic and youth product Alessandro Florenzi.

“We can go far with this [winning] mentality,” Pjanic admitted to Sky Sport Italia earlier this week. “We have a desire to win and we have the quality.”

Garcia, meanwhile, conceded to reporters: “There are many positive sensations right now, but we have much work still to do and need to be humble. We have been together as a squad for just two months.”

Those positive sensations will extend for a little while longer yet though, with news that Totti has extended his contract until 2016. The Roma icon turns 37 next week and what money on a tenth goal against the old enemy as a birthday celebration?

Lazio, however, will certainly hope not. And they’ll be eager to show that the Coppa Italia victory from last season was no fluke. The Biancocelesti beat their neighbours in the Final last May to claim their sixth Coppa, and this will be the first time the two meet since that famous night.

Vladimir Petkovic’s men have also strengthened over the summer, bringing in highly-rated Brazilian youngster Felipe Anderson – the ‘future of Lazio’ according to his agent – and beating off a host of rivals to sign Lucas Biglia from Anderlecht. It’s old boys Miroslav Klose, Antonio Candreva and Hernanes who have impressed the most though during these early stages of the campaign. Wins over Chievo and Udinese have lifted spirits on the blue side of the city, with the Juventus behemoth the only team to win against the Aquile so far.

In the capital, there’s no game bigger. It could be argued that in Serie A there’s not a match that can touch the rivalry that exists between Roma and Lazio. As Petkovic admitted on his arrival last year: “From the first day I got here the talk has been about the derby, as everyone urged me to win it. We are playing for three points, but they are certainly worth their weight in gold.” Especially to the fans…

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Have your say...
Il Mio Nome E` il Simbolo della Tua Eterna Sconfitta
Forza Roma!! Sempre Forza Roma!!
on the 25th September, 2013 at 2:21pm
To the guy who said the Glasgow Derby.....The Old firm is dead, so Unless they meet in a League cup game, the Old firm exists no more. So if they don't list it , it is for that reason.
on the 24th September, 2013 at 11:18pm
Reading these posts from an anonymous Lazio fan claiming Lazio is the only team in Rome seriously? How many titles, cups or any trophy have they won compared to Roma's haul? A.S Roma bares the city's name, colours and symbol (Romulus & Remus and the she Wolf), Lazio is surrounding area the outskirts of the City, the only team in Rome is Roma, Lazio may been in existence longer but Rome is Red and Gold. Oh 2-0 by the way! FORZA ROMA!!
on the 24th September, 2013 at 3:20pm
Speaking of Derbies how the author can ignore the passion of the Glasgow derby with its bile filled sectarian and religious divides is beyond me. As a fan of neither Rome side to be perfectly honest the Rome Derby is very rarely a good game.
on the 23rd September, 2013 at 12:08am
Roma can win this derby and the next 10 derbies but it will still not make up for the coppa italia. Radio stations in rome were saying that a schudetto couldn't have even made up for the loss. Lazio is the first team in rome and always will be.

Roma have played Lirvorno, verona and parma. How could you not be onto of serie a with that schedule? Two serie B teams and the worst parma team in the past 20 years. Lazio have played Juventus twice, udinese and chievo as well as a Europa league match.
on the 22nd September, 2013 at 6:08am
Lazio will win as they keep beating roma like a drum in recent years.klose at the double lazio win 2-1.de Sanctis the weak link for roma as the eagle flies on
on the 22nd September, 2013 at 12:43am
Incredible faux pas by the author. How he can possible mention a London derby and ignore Tottenham vs Arsenal but include Chelsea vs Fulham is beyond me.The coppa Italia was 1 of the worst matches that I have ever seen these 2 team play and unfortunately quality individuals are severely lacking but it is still a huge surprise that Lazio with the players they have continue to have the upper hand in these games lately.Still wrapping my head round selling Lamela n Osvaldo. Gervinho? Really!!!!
on the 21st September, 2013 at 7:58pm
Roma have started really well, whilst Lazio have shown signs of improving after their double defeat vs Juve. It will probably be tight but I fancy Roma to edge it if Ljajic starts. Like Sam said, Roma have the better players overall, but i still have fears about De Sanctis. What really fascinates me is the duel between the coaches. I really like Petkovic, & Garcia looks like an inspired appointment. Lets hope that the fans behave themselves & do what they do best: creating a fantastic spectacle.
on the 21st September, 2013 at 11:48am
No one is more hungrier than Roma !
on the 21st September, 2013 at 10:39am
Roma to triumph.

This season is theirs.
on the 21st September, 2013 at 8:10am
I think the Rome derby is bigger than any derby in Italy.
I don't support either team but you always feel the anticipation and the nervousness of the game. The coppa Italia final last year was the ultimate Rome derby.
And also good form has nothing to do with it as if I can remember the weaker team has won the game recently, though I think Roma have a far better team though Lazio with what they got have a good system and a good manager.
on the 21st September, 2013 at 7:52am
The Milan & Italian (Juve v Inter) will always be bigger & better derbies.
on the 20th September, 2013 at 7:53pm
the article could of gone deeper talking on/about the spectacle of the 'Derby della Capitale'. at least lately, it has been exciting and possibly the #1 derby of ALL of europe, at the moment. for me, i think garcia has the right formula and has been getting things correct. at the season start, i said roma is the dark horse of the '13-'14 season. if roma wins, they go top of the table. interesting. if they continue these strings of good results, then i think they could be the team to beat!
on the 20th September, 2013 at 7:41pm
We are going to sink Lazio and prove we are the best team in Rome. Forza Roma. Totti to mark new contract with winning goal. Things are taking shape, Garcia is doing a great job, the new signings are playing very well and look good and our team spirit is fantastic unlike last season. Now lets beat the enemy, our squad is superior by far in my view, I wouldn't mind Candreva in our team though.
on the 20th September, 2013 at 7:17pm

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