High stakes for Lazio and Roma

Three prizes are on offer when Lazio meet Roma in he Coppa Italia final on Sunday - the trophy, the bragging rights, and the final Europa League place.

Last Updated: 26/05/13 at 18:06 Post Comment

Vladimir Petkovic: Hoping to bring derby joy to Lazio in Coppa Italia final

Vladimir Petkovic: Hoping to bring derby joy to Lazio in Coppa Italia final

Only one team will take all three, however, with victory promising a much greater reward than triumph in the Rome derby during the Serie A season.

The Italian capital's Stadio Olimpico - home to both city rivals - hosts the first-ever Rome derby final in a match brought forward by three hours to avoid a repeat of the violent scenes that have marred the fixture in recent years.

Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic, who booked the Biancocelesti seventh place in his first season in charge, told reporters: "I'm incredibly proud to lead this team and the lads have given everything over the last few months and deserve some success.

"We know how strong we are and we have everything we need to win.

"There are three targets: to get into Europe, to win a derby and to win a cup.

"But it's important we don't focus on all that and just think about our performance. If we play with positivity then we can hit our targets."

On their return from a four-day group retreat at Norcia, Petkovic has no real injury doubts with only Uruguayan winger Alvaro Gonzalez nursing a muscle complaint.

"There's always pressure, but you have to use it to spur you on," Petkovic added.

"I'm very happy with how tight the squad have been during our training camp and I'm sure that team spirit will help us win the match tomorrow.

"There have to be some nerves - not having them would mean you're not ready."

Rival fan groups have made a pact to approach the Olimpico from opposite sides of the city.

Roma supporters will use the Ponte della Musica to the south, with Lazio fans approaching from the northern Ponte Milvio.

Both clubs have been warned that future meetings may be held behind closed doors if there is any more trouble. The build-up to April's league meeting saw dozens injured amid running battles with police.

Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi has played his part, too, imploring fans of both sides to leave their weapons at home and focus on the football.

"I am really confident going into the derby," he said. "It will be a great party and there are so many people who will want to come to the stadium for a celebration.

"So please, leave your weapons and knives at home.

"We have to be the better side out there on the pitch. We feel that sense of responsibility but will not fold under the pressure.

"It doesn't matter what has come before."

Injured goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg misses out for Roma but Greek winger Vasilis Torosidis has recovered in time to enter coach Aurelio Andreazzoli's thoughts.

Beaten finalists in 2010, Roma are searching for 10th Coppa title while Lazio are hungry for a sixth having beaten Sampdoria in 2009.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

M

eanwhile, England's best U21 players playing with those most likely to be in the senior team from 2020 onwards might increase their chances in those tournaments to a point where they could actually be potential winners. Unlike 2016.

shagwa
Wenger warns Hodgson

I

m not a doctor, but the cause is likely to be crap dancing after scoring. My prognosis is we may need to take that leg off.

GVMUFC
Rodgers reveals Sturridge woe

F

or the time being we just have to focus on the players we do have, Rodgers said. We have to make the best of what is available. Jesus wept!

rodger's gusset
Rodgers reveals Sturridge woe

Footer 365

Premier League: Tottenham's Christian Eriksen secures dramatic win at Hull

Christian Eriksen snatched a late winner as Tottenham fought back to claim a 2-1 victory over 10-man Hull.

Premier League: Crystal Palace come from behind to stun Liverpool

Liverpool endured another forgettable afternoon at Selhurst Park on Sunday as they were beaten 3-1 by Crystal Palace.

Premier League: Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino disagreed with Hull boss Steve Bruce on red card

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino disagreed with Hull boss Steve Bruce's opinion on Gaston Ramirez's red card.

Mail Box

Oh Arsenal. Why Oh Why Oh Effing Why?

We have plenty of fallout from Arsenal's latest display of outrageous incompetence, plus the question of why every team seems to be getting worse. Plus, another Garcia ghost goal...

A Funny Mail About Line Dancing & More

We have some great responses to young Jack's question about how readers first got into football. Plus, finally some intelligent thoughts on Dave Whelan's outburst...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property