Roma vs. Lazio: Key Battles to Watch in Coppa Italia Final

Matteo BonettiContributor IMay 23, 2013

ROME, ITALY - NOVEMBER 11:  Michael Bradley of Roma (R) tussles with Stefano Mauri of SS Lazio during the Serie A match between S.S. Lazio and AS Roma at Stadio Olimpico on November 11, 2012 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

The Coppa Italia final between city rivals Roma and Lazio will take place on May 26th, giving fans one of the most heated derbies in world football.

It's not only a cup to add to their empty seasonal drawer, but also a ticket to the Europa League for the winner.

The Stadio Olimpico will be packed to the brim, giving spectators one of the most scenic venues in Italy.

Hopefully, more peace can come between the two sides as the last domestic derby between these teams was marred by violence once again, as a total of six stabbings were reported amidst the rampant chaos.

However, let's focus on what will actually happen on the pitch in this climactic Coppa Italia final. Here are the key battles to watch out for:

 

Miroslav Klose versus the Roma defense

- Only three teams in Serie A gave up as many goals as Roma, who were scored on 56 times during the season. It's also worth mentioning that two of those teams will play their football in Serie B next season. 

- Miroslav Klose netted 15 times this season despite picking up a few knocks along the way. He capped off the season with an astonishing five goals against Bologna. Needless to say, Roma defenders will have their hands full with the German striker throughout the match.

 

Daniele De Rossi versus Hernanes

- Two of the best midfielders in Europe will go toe-to-toe in the Coppa Italia final as Roma's box-to-box nightmare Daniele De Rossi will often cross paths with the vastly underrated Brazilian trequartista Hernanes. 

- Both these players are capable of spectacular efforts from long distance and have the creative gene to provide tantalizing passes to their front-men. Look for Italian international De Rossi to mark Hernanes tight in his own half.

 

Coaching battle between Aurelio Andreazzoli and Vladimir Petkovic

- Here's one of the most interesting subplots of the match. Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic has endured a diabolical second half of the season, as the Biancocelesti went on a run earlier this calendar year where they only managed to win one out of eight matches in all competitions. Not only did they squander a top-three spot in Serie A, but they managed to take themselves completely out of the race for any European spot, unless they can manage a win against Roma in the Coppa Italia. 

- Meanwhile, Aurelio Andreazzoli is days away from not even having a job with the team, as Roma have apparently already reached a verbal agreement with Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri.

 

Conclusion

Expect another high octane match which disregards form and splits the city of Rome in half. It's not only a battle for silverware to somewhat quell the disappointment of both team's domestic record, but also an opportunity to have a chance in Europa league and bring the Italian league coefficient back to respectable heights.