Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi is upbeat about 18-goal striker Ciro Immobile’s chances of featuring in Saturday’s Rome derby.
Roma, who trail their fourth-placed city rivals by a single point ahead of the first Derby della Capitale of the season, will hope the Italy striker continues to struggle with muscle problems as they pursue a fifth straight Serie A victory.
If that run sounds impressive, consider Lazio’s current form. Since losing badly to Napoli in Septembe,r the Biancocelesti have won nine in a row in all competitions, thanks largely to Immobile.
If Inzaghi’s men are to extend their club-record streak to a 10th game, they will need goals — and the coach is eager for one man to be in a position to provide them.
“On Wednesday, [Immobile] trained with the squad, but yesterday the problem flared up again,” Inzaghi said at Friday’s pre-match press conference, according to the club’s official Twitter account.
“We will evaluate him. There is hope and we’ll see how he gets on.
“He is always a wholehearted participant. Last year, he only missed two matches — and so we hope to see him on the pitch tomorrow.”
Referring to the derby, to which Lazio hold the bragging rights after beating Roma 3-1 in April, Inzaghi added: “We will approach it with aggression and determination.
“We are up against a team full of players of real quality and they won’t be afraid to face Lazio even though we’re in excellent form.”
Lazio are also without Felipe Anderson, Wallace and Felipe Caicedo, while Nani’s participation is hanging in the balance. Rick Karsdorp and Emerson are sidelined for Roma.
Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who has kept clean sheets in his last three appearances for the Giallorossi, is looking forward to the challenge of his first league derby in the Eternal City.
He featured in both legs of Roma’s Coppa Italia semifinal defeat to Lazio and is out for revenge.
“I played the derby in the Coppa Italia. Unfortunately, it did not go well, but I learned what the derby means to the city, to the fans,” Alisson said, according to Roma’s web site.
“It would be great to win my first derby in Serie A, especially considering both sides are doing well at the moment.
“Each game has its own story. I have worked hard, also while with the national team, with the derby in mind. I feel ready.”