The football season is in full flow around Europe and Saturday serves up two of the real neutral’s favourites, the Derby della Capitale and El Derbi Madrileno.
Neither have hardly been shy in the drama stakes over the years and the starts to the season those involved have means there should be plenty of excitement in both matches.
The earlier of the two games comes from the Eternal City as Roma ‘host’ Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.
After reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League last season, the Giallorossi have been woeful this term, although gained some much-needed confidence with a 4-0 home win over lowly Frosinone.
Lazio have had it tough in recent years but are a team on the rise under Simone Inzaghi and their midweek 2-1 win at Udinese leaves them third after five straight wins in all competitions.
This is a team that seems comfortable in its skin, unlike their local rivals, and defeat here would put Eusebio Di Francesco in big trouble.
Goals often flow in this fixture and there have been over 2.5 in Roma’s last three ‘home’ editions of the Derby.
That is a theme with over 2.5 goals in five of the Giallorossi’s last six league outings and they have also scored at least in two in all of those games.
Their defensive frailties suggest there could be more fun on Saturday especially with I Biancocelesti netting two or more in their last three outings.
Later on in the evening, the football world’s eye turns to the Bernabeu where Real Madrid host Atletico in a game that is often sensational.
Atleti won 4-2 when the pair met in the Super Cup in August and will have taken great encouragement from the genuinely awful Los Blancos’ showing in their 3-0 defeat at Sevilla on Wednesday.
Los Colchoneros had got their business done the night before with a 3-0 win over Huesca.
Atleti have not won on the road at their great rivals since 2016 but their current form suggests they too could catch Real cold.
While the Roman rivalry usually means goals, these games can be tighter affairs and there have been under 2.5 goals in Atletico’s last five away games.
Real do have a good record against their local rivals, and been drawing at both half time and full time in their last 3 matches, a bet that comes in at 4/1.
However, Atleti are on a roll and with question marks over Real’s defending, it could be a joyous night for the Mattress Makers.
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