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The 65 year old praised his star midfielder ahead of the derby against arch-rivals Lazio on Sunday, and insisted his squad is a competitive one

Roma coach Zdenek Zeman has lauded midfielder Daniele De Rossi for his increased desire to compete ahead of the Derby della Capitale on Sunday against Lazio.

The 65-year-old praised the Italy international after his recent top performaces, and insisted that his squad remains a competitive one despite a mixed start to the season.

"De Rossi? [There has been] a difference between the technical and psychological side," the Giallorossi boss said in his pre-match press conference. "He now shows more desire to play.

"However, the hierarchies change every week. This is a competitive squad, in which everyone can play."

Lazio won both all-Roman league clashes last season, and two sides sit side-by-side (the Biancocolesti in fifth, Roma in sixth) in the Serie A this season with 11 games already gone.

Sunday's kick-off at the Stadio Olimpico is at 15:00CET.

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