Roma vs. Lazio: What to Expect from the Coppa Italia Final

Matteo BonettiContributor IApril 18, 2013

ROME, ITALY - APRIL 08:  Eddy Onazi (L)  of S.S. Lazio competes for the ball with Francesco Totti of AS Roma during the Serie A match between AS Roma and S.S. Lazio at Stadio Olimpico on April 8, 2013 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

The gargantuan Stadio Olimpico will be roaring on May 26 when Roma take on bitter rivals Lazio in their own city for the Coppa Italia final.

It's the ultimate match of highs and lows. An intense battle on the field mirroring a World Cup final draws in neutrals worldwide, but a less attractive part of it happens often before the match.

Violence marred the last Rome derby which took place two weeks ago as a total of six stabbings were reported by fanatical supporters of both teams.

It's not uncommon to go to any Italian media outlet and see images of riot police having to contain frenzied crowds before and after this heated affair.

However not all hectic conditions need to carry a negative connotation, as each Rome derby produces 90 minutes of heart pounding entertaining.

Incredibly, the last 15 matches between the two sides have produced 11 red cards. I dare you to find a derby in Europe which has a similar tally. 

Enthralled yet? Roma just made the final with a fantastic 3-2 victory over a slumping Inter side, while Lazio had to dispose of Juventus to reach this stage of the competition. Two well deserved victories for sides dreaming of Europe as well, with their interesting positions in the standings.

The match itself will be an even affair. Roma has just unleashed their starlet Mattia Destro, who scored a fantastic brace against Inter in the Coppa Italia semifinal.

The young Italian declared his performance as a type of sweet revenge, as the Nerazzurri were the team who let him go in the first place after spending his entire youth career at the Milanese outfit. Destro should be pivotal in the final, as he has recently come back from injury and will look to surpass the polarizing Pablo Osvaldo on the depth chart.

Lazio on the other hand are in a domestic slump, having only won one match out of their last five in Serie A.

Unfortunately for the Biancocelesti, their form has to do with Vladimir Petkovic putting all of his eggs in the Europa League basket. The roster is not equipped to deal with the rigors of handling three competitions, and they've suffered in Serie A while making valiant runs elsewhere.

As it stands, it's an even match which should produce a plethora of emotions and the salivating potential of going to 120 minutes.