JACK Wright's (@JackWright_BSB) oversees Saturday night's showdown from Serie A as capital rivals Roma and Lazio go head-to-head.
Roma vs Lazio | Saturday 15th May 2021, 19:45 | Premier Sports
There are some cracking games on across Europe this weekend and right up there with the best is the 156th Serie A renewal of the Derby della Capitale in the Eternal City.
Roma suffered another defeat in midweek as their atrocious end of season form continues, albeit a fate which has befallen many against this season's champions Inter, and although still seventh in the table, could miss out on European qualification completely with the fast-finishing Sassuolo now just two points behind them.
With a run of two Serie A wins in ten plus exit from this seasons’s Europa League it’s not hard to see why Paulo Fonseca only has two more games in charge – however I’m sure the incoming Jose Mourinho will be expecting to lead his Roma side out in continental competition – I'm not so sure he those expectations will be met however.
In contrast to their city neighbours, Lazio have won eight of their ten league outings, they left it late, but got the win they deserved against Parma on Wednesday night. to keep them in with an outside chance at returning to Europe’s elite competition, leaving them six points adrift of the sides just above them – Napoli and Juventus but still with a game in hand.
The Biancocelesti's late charge has been based on their sensational home form with the midweek win extending their remarkable run of consecutive Serie A victories to 12, smashing 18 goals in their last six outings at the Stadio Olimpico, at an extraordinary rate of three per game.
Away from home it’s a different story for Simone Inzaghi's men losing five of their last seven – so why am I confidently picking a Lazio win here at tasty odds of 32/25 with Unibet – well, they are only nominally the away side here of course, as they share the stadium with Roma and in the “reverse” fixture Le Aquile dominated, firing nine shots on target to two and running out comfortable 3-0 winners.
Not only do Lazio have the far superior current form they have a goalscorer who looks back to his lethal best.
Ciro Immobile may be relinquishing the Capocannoniere award he won last season back to 28-goal Cristiano Ronaldo but the Italian marksman in scoring six goals in his last six games has become the first player to score 20+ goals for Lazio inside four different SA seasons.
A large part of the 31-year-olds scoring achievements last season was down to his side being awarded a league high 18 penalties, of which he took 15 impressively successfully converting all bar one, this season has seen Lazio given half the opportunities from 12 yards and Immobile has been less clinical scoring four and missing three.
The Italian international did take and score the last spot kick, awarded during the 4-3 win over Genoa at the start of the month, so we should expect him to take responsibility should the chance arise again here and so that added to his current hot form means I like the odds of 1/1 with Sky Bet for him to add to his tally here against a Roma side that have shipped 16 goals in their last six games in all competitions.
That bet is looking even better when we consider the man in the middle of this clash, Luca Pairetto.
A lot of focus will be on the expected high number of cards and rightly so – however the 37-year-old official is ranked 29th of the 44 Serie A referees for his yellow card per game average (3.93) so it is not a line I will be taking on – however one thing to leap out at me whilst looking through his stats.
The Torino born referee has taken charge of 15 Serie A/Coppa Italia games this season awarding eight penalties but incredibly given five in his last five games with at least one in four of them, pointing to the spot twice in his last appointment at the beginning of the month,
Interestingly Pairetto has taken charge of four Roma games this term awarding two penalty kicks, one for and one against them – while in officiating three Lazio fixtures he pointed to the spot in their favour when taking on Atalanta.
Those stats coupled with the nature of this fixture and Lazio’s history for winning penalties make the 6/4 on offer from Unibet for a penalty to be awarded a must play for me.
As mentioned before, I will be looking to land a big winner before the season ends and so for this preview, I am putting a couple of the aforementioned selections together for a loose change special using Bet Victors bet builder function – for Ciro Immobile to score a penalty in both halves is 107/1. I’ve had a look down the back of the sofa and I’m on!
Now it's over to you Derby della Capitale – bring the noise!
Roma vs Lazio – Lazio to win (32/25 Unibet)
Roma vs Lazio – Ciro Immobile to score (1/1 Sky Bet)
Roma vs Lazio – Penalty awarded (6/4 Unibet)
Roma vs Lazio – Ciro Immobile to score a penalty in both halves (107/1 Bet Victor)