Serie A preview: Eternal City derby between Roma and Lazio vital in title race
Roma consider this weekend's Eternal City derby with Lazio a must-win game if they can remain in the Serie A title race.
Last Updated: 07/02/14 11:57am
Juventus are nine points clear at the top of the standings, although Roma have a game in hand after their last match against Parma was abandoned due to a waterlogged pitch.
"Sunday's game represents one of the most important of the campaign for us and for our fans," Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman said to asroma.it.
"We have to do well and we hope it will be a great match.
"It will be crucial to win for the points."
Rivals Lazio are ninth in the standings, 19 points adrift of Roma yet they appear to be facing their neighbours at the right time.
Since the return of Edy Reja as Lazio coach at the start of January, the club has not lost in Serie A.
Even if Roma are able to build some winning momentum, it may not be enough to catch Juventus.
The Bianconeri cruised to their 19th league win last weekend, beating Inter Milan, 3-1, and they will be favourites at Hellas Verona on Sunday.
Third-place Napoli are hoping to bounce back from a couple of setbacks when they host AC Milan on Saturday.
The Azzurri fell 3-0 at Atalanta last weekend before losing at Roma in the Coppa Italia.
Napoli have collected just three points in their last three Serie A games but have lost just once at the San Paolo stadium this season.
A Milan victory would see Fiorentina go level on 44 points with Napoli provided the Viola beat Atalanta on Saturday.
The Viola, who are three points adrift of Napoli, will have to overcome the absence of injured midfielder Alberto Aquilani and Massimo Ambrosini.
Inter Milan have collected just one victory in their last 10 league games.
Their winless run in 2014 has seen Inter drop to sixth place ahead of Sunday's game against Sassuolo.
Torino are level on 33 points with Inter and will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in Turin when they welcome Bologna on Sunday.
The Granata have not lost at home since September 29.
Parma are riding an 11-match unbeaten run in Serie A and host bottom-side Catania this weekend.
Genoa take on Livorno in Leghorn looking to bounce back from last weekend's derby defeat to Sampdoria.
The 1-0 reverse was Genoa's first loss at home since September 28.
Chievo are desperate to end a seven-game winless run when they take on Udinese at the Friuli stadium.
The men from Verona fell 2-0 at home to Lazio last time out and lie two places and one point above the drop zone.
Cagliari travel to Genoa to face Sampdoria on Sunday looking for their first win on the road this season.