Serie A Preview 15th - 17th
The Eternal City Derby is one to get the pulses racing and the heart's pumping because if one thing separates the great city of Rome then it is definitely football.
Lazio and Roma headline this weekend's programme in Italy and face off on Sunday night. The Stadio Olimpico is home to both teams but this weekend see's Lazio given the home dressing room but will not necessarily have home advantage. Miroslav Klose and Djibril Cisse spearhead a brand new looking Lazio attack whilst Roma have a wealth of new talent up front including Pablo Osvaldo and Bojan but they also have Francesco Totti. He has made his name in these kind of games but he is not necessarily going to be starting especially with Osvaldo starting to find the back of the net. He is fantastic value at 11/2 to net the first goal after having three to his name already this term. Hernanes is the man in the engine room for Lazio and the highly rated play maker has his admirers across Europe. He is 11/4 to score anytime. Lazio have started well with a draw at AC Milan and an away victory last weekend. Luis Enrique's Roma have started to tick along nicely after a few slip ups in the early weeks and the project is well on course. A victory against their bitterest of rivals will give him early hero status amongst the Roma Ultra's and at 15/8, the price is too big to be sniffed at. Get on Roma.
AC Milan are a side that have been disappointing this season but this seems to have been overshadowed by the poor form of the San Siro sharing Inter. Allegri's Milan play host to Palermo on Saturday evening and will be hoping for some better form this side of the international break. Ibrahimovic is a big miss and if he makes the grade on Saturday expect him to score. He is 10/11 anytime or 7/2 first goal scorer but the most appealing price is for the big Swede to score two or more at 4/1. Palermo have defeated Inter this season but Milan should start to pick up the pace now as the front runners stretch their lead. Milan are 8/15 for the victory.
Those front runners include Napoli. They were tipped at the beginning of the season to have a good run all season long after some sensible signings and they haven't disappointed anyone who has backed them. They annihilated the ten men of Inter Milan last weekend at the San Siro 3-0 and that was without the prolific Edinson Cavani in their side. This weekend they host Parma and are, what seems to be a very big 8/15 to grab the victory. Their last home game they drew 0-0 with Fiorentina who are a stronger outfit than Parma. Hugo Campagnaro scored Napoli's opener last time out and the defender is 18/1 to do so again.
The other two pace setters are Udinese and Juventus who both face tricky looking away trips. Udinese travel to Atalanta and Juve go to Chievo. Juve are Evens to win and are rightly so considered favourites for this clash. The old Juventus side always dropped points in games like this and maybe the old, Old Lady will come back. The Draw is priced up at 9/4. Udinese are a bigger price of 7/4 to continue their recent good form. Antonio Di Natale is 6/1 to score first and the reliable front man is always worth a punt to grab a goal. A classic goal scorer.
Inter Milan play away at Catania and are 6/5 to notch a victory after the last game week's embarrassment against Napoli. They should be left alone until some consistent form is found because until then it is impossible to tell what team will turn up. There are two sure things, they will score goals through Milito, Pazzini, Forlan and Zarate but they will also concede.
Elsewhere this weekend Cesena play Fiorentina, Cagliara play Siena, Lecce go to Genoa and Novara host Bologna but the biggest draw of any of these contests this week is without doubt the Rome Derby. It is time for the Eternal City to take centre stage.