Lazio and Roma will kick-off a mouth-watering Derby della Capitale on Sunday.
There will be many head-to-head contests that could have a decisive say in Sunday’s grand derby, with kick at the Stadio Olimpico at 18:00 CET.
Never have the two sides met so early in a campaign before, adding an extra layer of unpredictability to a game that rarely seems to follow the script anyway.
The two sides split the spoils in last season’s games – with Lazio winning the most recent meeting. Roma will be looking to get revenge for that, and get their first win of the fledgling campaign.
Here are the 3 individual key battles of Lazio – Roma.
3. Paulo Fonseca vs. Simeone Inzaghi
New manager Paulo Fonseca takes to the dugout for what will be his first derby between Roma and Lazio. The 46-year-old, who swapped Shakhtar Donetsk for the Stadio Olimpico in the summer, will experience his first Derby della Capitale, having only just got his first taste of Italian football in the 3-3 home draw against Genoa last weekend.
Plenty of players, most recently Chris Smalling, have all been brought over the course of the summer, as Fonseca starts to fine tune his squad. He may still be adjusting to the Italian game, but form tends to goes out of the window when derbies come into play.
His opposite number, Simeone Inzaghi, arrives for the match in almost the opposite situation – the 43-year-old is set to take charge of what will be his eighth league meeting between both sides. He knows what the derby means and, having only made minor revisions to his squad over the summer, his players will know what they are expected to do. That has led many to proclaim Lazio the favorites for the game.