Lazio play host to Monza at Stadio Olimpico on Thursday, when both teams play their second-last game before the World Cup break.
Now 16 years on since the last meeting between the sides back in 2006, the hosts are flying high in the Serie A standings, while their visitors have been adapting to life in the top flight.
Lazio kicked off Sunday’s Derby della Capitale still in confident mood, despite previously seeing a nine-game unbeaten run ended due to their second-half collapse against Salernitana.
The Biancocelesti made light of the glaring absences of injured Ciro Immobile and suspended midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, as they kept Roma at arm’s length throughout a close-fought contest, which erupted into a touchline scrap near its end.
That result helps Lazio bounce back from successive defeats to Salernitana and Europa League opponents Feyenoord, the latter of which saw them drop down to the Europa Conference League.
After taking on Monza on Thursday, Maurizio Sarri’s side then travel to Turin to face Juventus for their final match before the World Cup.
Following three successive victories under new coach Raffaele Palladino, with the first coming over Juventus, Monza seemed to have established a foothold on the mountainous task of surviving their first top-flight campaign.
However, they had subsequently lost three in a row in Serie A before Sunday’s visit from Hellas Verona, who are also struggling at the bottom end of the table.
After Verona went down to 10 men just before the half-hour mark, Monza managed to take charge of the game and Carlos Augusto and substitute Andre Colpani secured a 2-0 victory for their side.
Monza are also through to the last 16 of the Coppa Italia following a dramatic victory over Udinese in the previous round, and have been pitted against Juventus again when the cup returns in January.
Lazio vs Monza head to head
These two teams have previously met on just one occasion in the Coppa Italia back in August 2006, where Lazio won away through penalties after a 1-1 draw.
Monza 1-1(P) Lazio 23/08/06
Lazio latest home form
Lazio were beaten 3-1 by Salernitana in their last home game in the league. However, they have recently been on a good run of form at home, as they have been unbeaten in their previous six games. In their last five matches, they have scored nine goals and conceded six.
Lazio 4-0 Spezia 02/10/22
Lazio 2-2 Sturm Graz 13/10/22
Lazio 0-0 Udinese 16/10/22
Lazio 2-1 Midtjylland 27/10/22
Lazio 1-3 Salernitana 30/10/22
Lazio latest away form
Lazio have recently been on a relatively good run of form on the road, having lost just one of their six most recent matches. They defeated Roma 1-0 in their last away game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored seven goals and conceded just one.
Sturm Graz 0-0 Lazio 06/10/22
Fiorentina 0-4 Lazio 10/10/22
Atalanta 0-2 Lazio 23/10/22
Feyenoord 1-0 Lazio 03/11/22
Roma 0-1 Lazio 06/11/22
Monza latest home form
Monza have recently been on a relatively good run of form at home, having lost just one of their four most recent matches. They managed to defeat Hellas Verona 2-0 in their last home game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored six goals and conceded four.
Monza 0-2 Atalanta 05/09/22
Monza 1-0 Juventus 18/09/22
Monza 2-0 Spezia 09/10/22
Monza 1-2 Bologna 31/10/22
Monza 2-0 Verona 06/11/22
Monza latest away form
Monza have recently failed to keep a good run of form on the road, having won just two of their eight most recent matches. They lost 4-1 to AC Milan in their last away game in the league. In their last five matches, they have scored eight goals and also conceded eight.
Lecce 1-1 Monza 11/09/22
Sampdoria 0-3 Monza 02/10/22
Empoli 1-0 Monza 15/10/22
Udinese 2-3 Monza 19/10/22
AC Milan 4-1 Monza 22/10/22
There remains hope that Ciro Immobile will return to the Lazio squad on Thursday after several weeks on the sidelines, but Milinkovic-Savic will be back from suspension.
Luis Alberto could therefore make way in midfield, while Felipe Anderson continues to deputise for Immobile up front and should be supported by Mattia Zaccagni.
Monza will be without midfielder Stefano Sensi, who came off with a serious ankle injury on Sunday and now requires surgery.
Jose Machin and Andrea Barberis are most likely to take the Inter loanee’s spot in the lineup, which should also feature eight Dany Mota, Christian Gytkjaer and Andrea Petagna up front.
Prediction and Odds
Monza certainly present a threat and stand a good chance of breaching Lazio’s strong defence, but they are likely to return from the capital empty-handed.
After their disappointment to Salernitana, Sarri’s side bounced back to winning ways at the weekend, and we back them to come away with a win on Thursday.
Odds: 1 1.78 X 2.10 2 3.10
Lazio 1-0 Monza
Lazio 2-0 Monza
Lazio 2-1 Monza
Lazio 3-0 Monza
Lazio 3-1 Monza