Antionio Candreva Has Hit The Goal Trail This Term
Roma take on Lazio knowing that they have to win, or lose serious ground on league leaders Juventus.
The side sit nine points adrift of top spot with a game in hand to play against Parma after the postponement last weekend, and will be buoyed after their Coppa Italia win at home to Napoli in midweek.
However, Rudi Garcia's men will be travelling to Lazio knowing that only a win will do, and aware that Lazio's form has seen them unbeaten in their last four fixtures.
Garcia will turn to former Arsenal striker Gervinho to continue his excellent form since leaving the Emirates, having scored three goals in his last two Serie A matches, which has helped his side win their last four league matches.
Lazio, who are languishing in mid-table, will be desperate to get one over on their capital rivals, too, to keep their feet firmly on the gas for Europa League qualifications—currently sitting four points adrift of fifth place.
Midfielder Antonio Candreva has been ever-present in his side's last four league meetings, scoring three goals to keep his side in the hunt for European football next season.
And the creative player, who has scored seven goals so far this season, will be hoping to fire the goals that avenge his side's 2-0 defeat by Roma on 22 September; goals from Federico Balzaretti and a penalty dispatched by Adam Ljajic in that one.
Who will win?
When: Sunday, 9 Feb.
Where: Stadio Olimpico, Lazio, Italy
Time (U.S): 9 a.m. (ET)
Time: (U.K): 2 p.m. (GMT)
Watch: (U.S): BeIN Sport
Watch: (U.K): ESPN
Live Stream: Not Available.
Odds (via SkyBet): Lazio (13/5), Draw (11/5), Roma (19/20)
Top Storyline: Can Gervinho Fire Roma to the Top?
As Roma look to earn their first Serie A title win in 13 years, eight-goal hero Gervinho looks like La Maggica's best chance of leapfrogging league leaders Juventus.
Three goals in his last two games have seen the former Arsenal striker firmly cement his place in Rudi Garcia's starting line-up, and he has majestically returned to form since leaving the Emirates.
Was Arsene Wenger right to let Gervinho leave Arsenal?
The striker needs just four more goals to equal his total tally during his two years in North London, fine form that was last seen by the Ivory Coast striker back when he was playing for French outfit Lille in 2009.
And despite the ridicule, torment and lack of chance given to the striker during his stint in England, tables have turned for the 26-year-old, who was bombed out of the Gunners' squad by boss Arsene Wenger.
Speaking with Sports Illustrated, via ESPN Staff, Gervinho told of how his change in fortunes is largely thanks to the coaching that he has received at Stadio Olimpico:
The fundamental difference between the Roma and Arsenal is the coach. Garcia here gives me confidence, I know that he believes in me. When I wake up in the morning, I really like going to work: I cannot wait to train and stay with my coach and my team-mates.
In Italy the people are great. Rome is wonderful and the passion for football is strong, but a lot of these qualities were also in England. What I learned at Arsenal? Honestly, not so much, because you cannot learn a lot if you're on the bench. I left England because I was not playing. Almost always be among the reserves was the worst thing for me and for my confidence.
And it seems that the Roma boss is equally happy to comment on his man's rise to form:
Juventus, who have won the league for the last two years, will be looking eagerly over their shoulder at Gervinho and Co., and, knowing that Roma have a game in hand, will be hoping that Gervinho's fine form dries up soon.
Prediction: Lazio 1-4 Roma