Pitchside Europe

European Match of the Weekend: Roma v Lazio

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New Roma coach Rudi Garcia has a chance to succeed where his three predecessors all failed by beating Lazio in the Serie A derby on Sunday.

Roma have not won any of their last five meetings against their neighbours and the 1-0 defeat in last season's Coppa Italia final was particularly bitter as it left them without European football for a second successive season.

Vincenzo Montella was the last Roma coach to enjoy a win in the derby in March 2011. Luis Enrique lost both meetings 2-1 in 2011-12, followed by a 3-2 defeat for Zdenek Zeman in the first match of last season.

By the time the sides met again, Zeman had been fired and interim Aurelio Andreazzoli was in charge. He managed a 1-1 draw in Serie A, only for his side to lose the end-of-season cup final. Since then, however, the tables appear to have turned in Roma's favour.

The club, backed by U.S. investors, splashed out 66 million euros (£55.7m) on new signings and seem to have invested wisely in Kevin Strootman, Adem Ljajic, Mehdi Benatia and Gervinho. They even made a profit in the transfer window thanks to the sales of Marquinhos, Erik Lamela and controversial Argentine-born Italy striker Pablo Osvaldo.

Apart from Napoli, they are the only team to have won their opening three Serie A games, scoring eight goals and conceding only one.

Club president James Palotta flew to Roma on Thursday for the game and to negotiate a contract extension for 36-year-old Francesco Totti, who is starting his 22nd season at his only professional club.

"We are working very well collectively, and everyone should feel important," said Garcia after the 3-1 win over Parma on Monday, when he preferred not to discuss the derby.

Things have been less rosy at Lazio, who have taken six points from three games and on Sunday faced protests from their supporters over a lack of transfer activity. Fans boycotted the opening 15 minutes of the 3-0 win over Chievo Verona, missing their first goal.

Reuters

Opta match stats:

- This will be the 139th derby of the capital in Serie A: Roma lead by 47 wins to 36, with 55 draws.
- Roma have picked up only one point from their last four Serie A derbies; prior to that though, the Giallorossi had won four times in a row against Lazio.
- Roma have lost only one of the last 15 derbies played at home, winning eight times in the process.
- Roma won the first three fixtures of a Serie A campaign for the first time since 2007/08, when they lost the Scudetto on the final match-day.
- All of Lazio’s six goals in this campaign have been scored in the first half, while all of Roma’s eight goals have - come after the break.
- Roma have already scored three goals from outside the box; a league-high.
- There have been 15 red cards in the last 10 Serie A meetings between these two sides.
- Since 2006-07, no Serie A fixture has seen more penalties awarded than the Rome derby (11).
- Francesco Totti has already scored nine goals in this derby in Serie A, a record shared with Dino Da Costa and Marco Delvecchio.
- Hernanes has scored three times in his last four appearances against Roma in Serie A.

Opta head-to-head stats:

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European matches covered live this weekend on Eurosport-Yahoo!:

Saturday

Schalke v Bayern Munich - 17:30

Rayo Vallecano v Barcelona - 19:00

Sunday

Roma v Lazio - 14:00

Real Madrid v Getafe - 18:00

Paris Saint-Germain v Monaco - 20:00

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