All focus is set on the eternal city of Rome tomorrow evening as cross-city rivals Roma and Lazio are prepared to clash in the 2023/24 first edition of the Derby della Capitale at the Stadio Olimpico. With plenty on the line in the derby following the underwhelming start of both Roman clubs, as well as only a single point separating one another in the league standings, the Get Italian Football News team had Roma correspondent from Il Tempo Filippo Biafora preview the highly anticipated fixture.
Biafora was first asked about the significance of the match given both the Giallorossi and Maurizio Sarri’s side’s poor start to the season:
“Both teams are not having a good moment in the championship and it will be a much more fundamental match than many recent derbies. whoever loses would be left behind in the championship in a truly important way.”
Despite Mourinho’s men losing their opening three games of this year’s term, Roma seem to have found consistency as they four of their last five outings in the league, their sole defeat coming from the league leaders Inter. Biafora was asked about what he perceived to be the turning point for the Giallorossi in recent period:
“The results have been coming and Roma undoubtedly had a good period in October, but I still don’t think the decisive turning point has arrived. the secret, however, was the desire not to give up until the last second.”
Since the arrvial of Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea in the summer following his loan-spell at Inter last year, the Belgian international found his stride as he notched six goals in nine games-played in the Serie A, proving to be a vital asset despite his underwhelming season with the Nerazzurri a year ago. Biafora provided his insight on the 30 year-old’s impact on the Giallorossi upon his arrival in the capital:
“Lukaku is proving that he is still more than a decisive player in the Serie A. He is dominating many matches. However, he can’t work miracles and win them all on his own, we still have to see the pairing with Dybala properly. Lukaku is very well physically and this is giving him an edge after last year’s physical difficulties.”
Finally, Biafora was asked to discuss the rise of Edoardo Bove, 21 year-old central midfielder whom has flourished under Mourihno as the academy graduate made a total of nine appearances in the Serie A for Roma thus far:
“Bove is a young man who has been promising since the Primavera and now he has been good at responding every time he was sent onto the field and Mourinho was also very good at inserting him in this way. He’s playing a lot, but to be a starter he has to take more responsibility when managing the game. Without the ball and in recovery he is one of Roma’s best. I don’t know about the national team, now it seems premature to me, but he can have a good development given his skills”.
Julian Faustini Ι GIFN