All this means the Giallorossi have newfound confidence in their defence, which will be hoping to nullify on Sunday what is turning out to be a breakout campaign from bitter rivals Lazio. The Biancocelesti are belying early season expectations and currently sit third, albeit nine points behind their Roman cousins. The superb form of veteran Stefano Mauri, coupled with Felipe Anderson and Filip Djordjevic's goal-scoring exploits present a big challenge to a revitalised Roma backline.
The first Rome derby of the season is one of the most anticipated in years and holds plenty of significance within the city. Lazio can cut the gap on their rivals to six points with a win. Conversely Roma are hoping they can claim all three points and with Juventus facing a tricky trip to Napoli, the Giallorossi could find themselves top of the table on Sunday evening.
So it is rather surprising that a relative weakness in the Giallorossi armour has become a key component of their set-up in recent weeks. The last three games have brought three clean sheets from an often beleaguered backline. Two of the three games were 1-0 victories and back up how vital the defence has been recently, especially considering .
Astori's controversial winner on Tuesday against Udinese capped off a fantastic overall performance for the Cagliari loanee who was a commanding presence at the heart of the defence. Whilst Manolas' wonderful debut season in Italy has silently drawn comparisons to Mehdi Benatia's superlative campaign last season.
Holebas, continuing the theme of seizing opportunities, has firmly displaced Cole abbin真人视讯平台s the Lupi's first choice left-back. Industrious going forward, as evidenced by his majestic solo goal against Inter, perhaps more work on the defensive side will yield a better, well-rounded game for the Greece international.
The form of Mapou 365bet平台网投Yanga-Mbiwa and Davide Astori, recruited initially as squad players, must be pleasing to Coach Rudi Garcia. Leandro Castan's long term absence and injury problems to Kostas Manolas have meant centre-backs Mapou and Astori are seeing consistent game time and have stepped up in periods of crisis.
Manolas' Greek compatriot, Jose Holebas has arguably been the revelation of Garcia's defensive options. A definitive back-up purchase behind star signing Ashley Cole, it is the Englishman who now finds himself on the bench, having dropped down the pecking order. Cole's poor form has been alarming to the Capital club who believed they were getting a proven, European quality full-back. Instead the former Chelsea man has struggled to adapt to the It赌场注册alian game and rumours of an exit, just six months into his tenure in Rome, have been gathering steam.
Roma need a lift on the offensive side, but a rejuvenated defence is starting to grind out results. A similar gritty, determined display could make all the difference in a tightly contested derby and beyond. The defence is beginning to make its mark – the club will be hoping it continues.
Roma’s defence has come under increasing scrutiny this campaign, after damaging losses to Bayern Munich, Napoli and Manchester City.