Fans stabbed ahead of Rome derby - report

Lazio's fans cheer prior the Italian Serie A football match Lazio vs Roma on May 25, 2015 in Rome (AFP Photo/Filippo Monteforte) (AFP)

Rome (AFP) - Two unnamed Roma fans were rushed to hospital in a serious condition after being stabbed prior to the city derby against Lazio on Monday, reports in Italy said.

Lazio host Roma in a penultimate match of the season which is likely to decide which team will finish second to claim Serie A's second automatic qualifying spot for the Champions League.

Tension has reigned in the Italian capital, and violence flared at several hotspots in the hours leading up to the final. The two fans were rushed to the Gemelli hospital after being stabbed in the stomach, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport website.

The report added that a group of hardline 'ultra' fans with links to Polish top flight side Wislaw Krakow were 'guests' of Lazio's notorious Curva Nord (North End), where some of the club's hooligan, right-wing element congregate at matches.

The fans from Poland, according to Gazzetta, were filmed earlier in the day walking through Rome behind a banner, making fascist salutes and shouting insults at Roma fans.

Roma sit second in Italy's top flight with a one-point lead on Lazio, who will secure at least a third-place finish this season if they secure a draw.

Third-place finishers in Serie A must qualify for the Champions League via a two-match play-off.