Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic has paid tribute to AS Roma's Zdenek Zeman ahead of the derby today.

It'll be the first time for Petkovic against Roma Coach Zeman, but the Serie A newcomer has the utmost respect for his opponent.

"Zeman is a legend in Italy and I certainly followed his progress when I was working in Switzerland. So much has been written about him and his name is known overseas.

"From the first day here I realised what the derby represents in Rome. I had a few derbies in Switzerland, but the entire country has as many inhabitants as the city of Rome. This is a special event, to be shared by everyone.

"It's a shame we can't walk out before kick-off to soak up the atmosphere and see what happens in the stands. It is wonderful to be part of such a festival of football."