A Clash of Gladiators: Picking a Combined XI of Roma & Lazio Players Ahead of Saturday's Derby

Roma and Lazio meet on Saturday afternoon at the Stadio Olimpico for one of the most entertaining derbies in the history of Italian football.

It will be the first derby in 23 years without Roma captain and legend Francesco Totti, who retired last June.

Lazio have been enjoying a particularly positive start to the season as Ciro Immobile's goals have dragged them up the table to  fourth, one point above rivals Roma and only four adrift leaders Napoli. 

Here's a combined XI of those who could make a difference on Saturday afternoon's game.

11. GK: Alisson Becker

Despite his relatively young age, Alisson has become vital for both Roma and Brazil, showing impressive skills during the international break as well as in the league. 

In part thanks to the 25-year-old, Roma have the best defence in Serie A so far this season.

10. RB: Alessandro Florenzi

In an ideal 4-4-2 lineup, no one could be better employed as a right-back than Alessandro Florenzi, whose years at Roma have made him a city hero. 

He's working hard to become a natural heir to club legends Totti and Daniele De Rossi and earn the captain armband. 

After a poor performance during Italy's draw to Sweden, he has even more to prove. 

9. CB: Stefan De Vrij

Manager Simone Inzaghi has often praised this 25-year-old Dutchman, who was welcomed in Rome three years ago and has fought for his place at the centre of Lazio's defence. 

He now is not only a major leader in the squad but also a certainty for his manager; a reliable and humble defender who offers a goalscoring threat from corners. 

8. CB: Kostas Manolas

Kostas Manolas represents a curious case. Over the summer, he was on the verge to move to Zenit but the agreement failed due to financial issues. 

Despite the confusion of the summer, he has not been affected mentally and from the first day of training he has proved to be at the team's disposal, working extremely hard to regain his fans' love. 

He has become a key centre-back for Roma, who owe him great deal and, thanks to him, are breaking all Serie A defence records.

7. LB: Aleksandar Kolarov

Chelsea supporters may remember him from the first leg of their Champions League clash against Roma, when Kolarov surprised the Blues defence and kicked a stunner from the left flank. 

Despite being new to Italian football - having joined the Roman side only this year - the Serbian has proved lethal in several occasions. 

6. CM: Radja Nainggolan

Few Serie A players can outrun or outfight the Belgian hard man. The way he plays with the ball and enjoys getting one over on his rivals is a sight for sore eyes. 

Lazio may have nurtured a very talented midfield this year, but Nainggolan overshadows everyone else. 

5. CM: Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

Everyone wants him, from Manchester City to Juventus, but, for the moment, he is at Lazio and is enjoying a brilliant start to the season while dreaming of leading his team to the Champions League. 

His presence in the last three derbies - two in Coppa Italia and one in Serie A - was more than crucial, as he scored twice and showed that he wants to enjoy these matches as much as possible.

4. RM: Stephan El Shaarawy

Italy's exclusion from the 2018 World Cup may have discomforted him, but El Shaarawy is the kind of player who always comes back from disappointing performances. 

Ever since his arrival at Roma last year, he has proved critics wrong by creating chances and scoring brilliant goals.

3. LW: Diego Perotti

One of the most technically skilled players at Roma, Perotti matured and improved massively in the past few years despite struggling when he arrived in 2016. 

He has already scored twice and provided one assist, contributing to the club's Serie A successes and turning into a reliable player both when attacking and defending. 

2. ST: Edin Dzeko

Dzeko runs like a 20-year-old and finishes like a veteran. Seven goals in the opening 11 games are proof that he is the number one enemy for Lazio. 

The Bosnian talent is idolised in the red half of the city - when Roma go through difficult moments, he is looked to as the man to sort things out.  

1. ST: Ciro Immobile

The one man more dangerous than Dzeko in the city right is Ciro Immobile. 

No one has been as prolific as him this year, as he has netted 14 times and provided six assists since the beginning of the season.

His style of play is unpredictable and beautiful to see. He has threatened the best defences in Serie A - scoring twice against Juventus and three against Milan.