It’s derby time here at Chiesa di Totti, and although practically everything about this season is already done and dusted, you would be lying if you didn’t admit that even in a wasted season, the Derby Della Capitale still matters. It’s arguably the wildest rivalry in all of European football, regardless of where either club is in the standings. Even in practically empty stadiums, there’s an energy that courses through the city during the lead-up to this match.
Roma vs. Lazio: May 15th. 20:45 CET/2:45 EDT. Stadio Olimpico, Roma.
The biggest question entering this weekend, then, is if the Giallorossi can take the energy that inevitably surrounds the Derby and use it to let this disappointing season end on a positive note.
January 15th: Lazio 3, Roma 0
This was just about as painful a derby as I can remember watching recently, and in a way, it was a sign that the Giallorossi were going to flame out as the season continued. A brace from Luis Alberto and a goal from Ciro Immobile gave Le Aquile a comfortable win in January, with a particularly poor performance from Roger Ibanez dooming the Giallorossi to an ignominious defeat against their most important rivals.
Here’s what Bren had to say post-match:
There are ugly matches and then there’s this; mercifully, this match ended without much stoppage time.
Do I have to? Can’t I just skip this one? I’ll do twice as many chores tomorrow, I promise! Mom, please!...please!
Honestly, looking back on this highlight video made me cringe. All we can hope for is that Fonseca and the squad don’t embarrass themselves quite like this again this weekend.
What To Watch For
Will Roma Care?
If you haven’t noticed, Roma’s poor form and the guarantee of a Paulo Fonseca departure at the end of this season has made it a bit more challenging for the fans to care much about the remaining matches on the schedule. Rome itself has practically moved on from the season; they’re already making Jose Mourinho beers and ice cream flavors, even before he’s said Forza Roma:
Given that, it’d be somewhat understandable if Paulo Fonseca and the boys weren’t as focused as usual on the upcoming derby. Nevertheless, it’s the Derby Della Capitale: I’ll certainly be watching and hoping for a win, and one has to hope that the true Roman side will find whatever energy they have left in them for this season to give a damn about the most important match left to play.
Conference League Hopes In The Balance
Sure, it’s hard enough as it is to get fans excited for the Europa League, but since Roma haven’t been nearly good enough to book a ticket back into that competition for next season, we’re now looking at a fight with Sassuolo over who will represent Italy in the first-ever Conference League. I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this competition, but I can only imagine it won’t pay well and won’t do much to expand Roma’s brand. Nevertheless, I’d like to think that the Giallorossi will fight to stay above Sassuolo in the standings; Roma is currently two points ahead of Sassuolo, and a win against Lazio would effectively seal Roma into seventh place.
If Roma needed a reason to win this weekend other than “It’s the derby”, well, that’s basically the closest we’re going to get.
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