All eyes will be on the Eternal City Wednesday night for the biannual derby between AS Roma and Lazio (TV: Fox Soccer Channel, live, 3:25 pm ET). One of the world's great rivalries alongside Rangers-Celtic in Glasgow or Boca-River in Buenos Aires, form means absolutely nothing when these two bitter enemies square off. In fact, Lazio trailed Roma by 11 points last season prior to their first meeting but triumphed easily, 3-0. This year, Roma again is the team in better form, sitting second in Serie A with an eight-point lead over its neighbor.
Lazio will be boosted by the absence of Francesco Totti; the inspirational Roma captain sustained a foot injury during a Champions League clash last week. But Totti's absence didn't phase the Romans on Sunday. They came away from the San Siro with a hard-fought 1-0 victory against AC Milan. For the second game in a row, Totti replacement Mirko Vucinic came to Roma's rescue, his diving header sewing up yet another late win. Lazio, meanwhile, is coming off a 1-0 home defeat to Udinese last weekend.
"It's been two years since we won and it's time to start (winning) again," Roma's stand-in captain, Daniele De Rossi, told reporters. "We're the stronger team, we're superior to Lazio. I say that without presumption, but in the recent derbies we haven't had the luck or the prowess to make our superiority show."