Serie A Preview: Roma face derby test, Napoli meet Milan
By Football News
Roma must overcome local rivals Lazio if they are to keep the pressure on Serie A leaders Juventus and maintain their tilt at the title.
Rudi Garcia's Roma side trail Juventus by nine points in Serie A but have a game in hand after their match against Parma last week was postponed due to a flooded pitch.
With 17 games left in the Serie A season, Roma cannot afford to drop further behind the dual-reigning champions from Turin and must beat Lazio on Sunday if they are to remain in the hunt for the Scudetto.
Roma have triumphed in just one of the past six editions of the Derby della Capitale, although that win did come earlier this season when Federico Balzaretti and Adem Ljajic scored in a 2-0 victory.
If Garcia's men are to win against Lazio, who are on a five-game unbeaten run in Italy's top tier, Gervinho will surely produce a top performance as the Ivory Coast forward is in top form at the moment.
In Roma's past five games in all competitions, Gervinho has scored four goals and set up another three, playing up front on the left as part of Garcia's preferred 4-3-3 formation.
Gervinho scored twice in Roma's 3-2 win over Napoli in their Coppa Italia semi-final first leg on Wednesday, while the 26-year-old former Arsenal attacker struck once and set up Ljajic for Roma's opening goal in a 3-1 triumph away to Hellas Verona in their last league fixture.
Roma (50 points) have won their past six games in all competitions, with their last loss coming against Juventus (59) at the start of last month.
If Lazio continue their recent dominance in the Derby della Capitale, third-placed Napoli could draw within three points of Roma, although Rafael Benitez's men are struggling this month.
Napoli have lost both games in February in all competitions with their cup defeat to Roma preceded by a 3-0 failure at Atalanta in Serie A.
In fact, Napoli have only won once in their past five matches and Benitez will be desperate for a response from his players against 10th-placed Milan on Saturday.
Juventus will travel to Verona on Sunday to take on fifth-placed Hellas, while Inter are set to host Sassuolo, Genoa will visit Livorno, Parma will face bottom club Catania, Sampdoria are up against Cagliari and Torino will clash with Bologna.
In other matches, Fiorentina will welcome Atalanta to Florence and Udinese will host Chievo.