Serie A Round 6 Match Predictions: Lazio vs Roma Promises to Excite

After an entertaining round of midweek matches that saw Spezia challenge Juventus, the Serie A has another interesting slate of games. The two prime fixtures this week are Inter against Atalanta and the 177th edition of the Derby della Capitale. With a lot of action ahead, here are three predictions for the Round 6 matches.

Lazio vs Roma

Since 2016, the Roman derby has been a stalemate, with each team winning four and drawing three. However, Roma have been brilliant to begin the season, while Lazio have shown worrying signs throughout the preseason and the opening weeks.

Despite a second half collapse against Verona last weekend, the Giallorossi have been one of Italy’s best teams this season. Jordan Veretout and Lorenzo Pellegrini have been in fine form, and Tammy Abraham gives Roma an elite option at striker. The club’s defense has been suspect shifting to a four-man backline, but its offense is possibly the best in the league.

Dominant wins over relegation candidates Spezia and Empoli has masked Lazio’s struggles. The club’s offense is overly reliant on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Ciro Immobile. Additionally, Pedro and Luis Alberto have played poorly aside from the Spezia match. Lazio’s backline is average and is clearly not ready to compete for a Champions League spot.

All these factors considered, this match’s status as a toss-up is surprising. Roma’s offense should excel against Lucas in Lazio’s defensive midfield, and the Biancocelesti wingers are not good enough to feed Immobile. This match may be an ugly loss for Maurizio Sarri.

Pick: Roma (0.0)

Udinese vs Fiorentina

While Fiorentina currently sit in sixth-place, Vincenzo Italiano’s side has been rather fortunate to take nine points from five matches. The Viola have an xGoal differential per 90 of -0.66 and have arguably been outplayed in every match except against Torino.

Fiorentina’s forwards have been solid, but Dusan Vlahovic, with one non-penalty goal, needs to hold-up play more and allow record signing Nicolas Gonzalez and Jose Callejon to create in the space behind him. Key midfielders Gaetano Castrovilli and Erick Pulgar have also missed time with injuries.

Udinese have had an encouraging start to the campaign. Before their emphatic loss to Napoli, the club was playing elite defense and showing signs of offensive improvement. Luca Gotti’s side earned a draw against Juventus, a 3-0 win over Venezia and managed an impressive +0.75 xGoal differential per 90. Quality defensive play from Rodrigo Becao and Samir has been crucial, while Ignacio Pussetto and Gerard Deulofeu have been electric at forward.

At home, this is a match that Udinese can certainly win. The club should learn from its big defeat to Napoli and play more compact defensively, keeping Tolgay Arslan as a double pivot with Walace. While Fiorentina’s offense has shown creativity, it defense has been lacking, and the club is undeserving of being the favorite in this match.

Pick: Udinese (+0.5)

Sassuolo vs Salernitana

In terms of results, Salernitana have had the worst start to its Serie A return possible. The club has dropped four of five matches, including two 4-0 losses to Roma and Torino. While manager Fabrizio Castori’s job is in danger, the newly promoted side has shown glimpses of improvement.

Forwards Cedric Gondo and Simy provide an interesting combination at forward. Gondo plays as a creative second striker, while Simy is the proven goalscorer. The late addition of Franck Ribery was surprising, but the 38-year-old is still an elite passer and facilitates play from the number ten role.

Sassuolo have struggled to cope with the loss of Manuel Locatelli and Francesco Caputo. With just five goals in five matches, the Neroverdi have seen offensive regression and have lost three straight.

Alessio Dionisi’s side has also been lackluster on the defensive side of the ball. Subpar play from the fullbacks and a lack of presence in the defensive midfield has been critical. Sassuolo allows opposing forwards too much space, and diagonal runs can expose its weak backline.

Salernitana’s showings against Atalanta and Verona are encouraging, and Sassuolo has been much worse than its point total suggests. This match has potential to be high-scoring, and Salernitana could very well come away with at least one point.

Pick: Salernitana (+1.5)