As the old saying goes, when it comes to the Derby della Capitale, the standings don't matter. With enough history and vitriol to fill volumes, the Roman Derby needs little by way of excess hype—these teams and these fans harbor such enmity towards each other that even a pre-season friendly takes on the air of a cup final. However, as luck would have it, Roma and Lazio are engaged in a bitter four-team race for Italy's lone Europa League spot next season.
Granted, these aren't the stakes we hoped Roma would be fighting for when the season began, but the Europa League is—whether we like it or not—a step up for this current iteration of AS Roma. A victory over Lazio this afternoon would put Roma 51 points, potentially putting them in the driver's seat for fifth place and a spot in Europe's JV competition next season.
It won't be easy—it never is against Lazio—and I sincerely doubt this match will end with 22 men on the pitch, but the lineups are in, so let's see if Mourinho can put one over on Maurizio Sarri.