We’re back in Italy on Sunday for what promises to be a fascinating match involving Napoli and Roma in Serie A. The home team is top of the league, into the knockout rounds of the UEFA Champions League, and ready to add Roma’s name to its long list of victims this season. But the visitors are in town to cause an upset, knowing an away win would strengthen their push for a top-four finish and a place in Europe’s elite competition next season. Three points would also keep alive Roma’s slight hopes of challenging for pole position as they emerge from the chasing pack.
Napoli and Roma enter the game, having won last time, and the coaches take encouragement from recent solid form. Napoli is the leader and showing little sign of slowing down anytime soon, but their only league defeat this term was inflicted this winter, ending any chance of a title win and an unbeaten season. That will encourage Roma, who may have four losses on their record but are unbeaten in their last five and appear to be hitting their stride at the perfect time of year.
Napoli is aiming to do the double over Roma after being the same opponent in front of their fans before the Qatar 2022 enforced shut down during November and December. They won 1-0 last time, with a single goal from Osimhen with 80 minutes on the clock proving the difference. Another competitive encounter is expected, with the stats showing these teams have drawn two of their last three meetings. Another share of the spoils wouldn’t be the biggest shock result of the season.
Three and easy for Napoli
Napoli has barely put a foot wrong this season, as we can see from their league stats. They were magnificent in the Champions League group stages, winning a pool that included runners-up Liverpool with Ajax in third, dropping down into the Europa League, and Glasgow Rangers ending in fourth following a nightmare campaign under the guidance of former player Giovanni van Bronkhorst. Despite some believing they’d be the weakest team in the group, with Liverpool and Ajax expected to contest the top spot, Napoli led their rivals home without fear.
They have been every bit as good in the Italian Serie A as they were on the continent. Napoli began the week sitting in first place, with their domestic stats showing 16 wins, two draws, and that one loss mentioned earlier. The sole defeat on their card came recently when they were beaten 1-0 away to Inter Milan in a classic contest. Both teams had chances to win the points that day, but the experience of Milan shone through with the winning goal scored by Dzeko early in the second half. Losing their unbeaten record was a bitter pill to swallow, but it hasn’t knocked the team off-track.
Napoli prepared for this game with a comfortable 2-0 win away to Salernitana last weekend. It was a game the league leaders were expected to win comfortably, and they had no issues living up to the hype. They collected the points thanks to goals from Di Lorenzo at the end of the first half and Osimhen, who added a second almost immediately after the interval. It was another win and step closer to lifting the Serie A title. Will they keep the run going in this match? Fans certainly hope so, and most pundits expect victory for the locals. Napoli is already a dozen points clear of a chasing pack led by AC Milan.
Roma remains in the mix
All the hype pre-match focuses on Napoli and its incredible bid to be crowned champions of Italian football. But Roma is here to take care of business, knowing what an away win over the league leaders could do for their season and the competitiveness of Serie A between now and spring. If Roma fails to take anything from this match, the best they can hope for this year is a top-four finish, but they have plenty of competition on that front. If they find a way to win, it’s game on in the race for the league flag.
Roma starts fourth in the table with 11 wins, four draws, and four defeats. They have scored 25 goals and conceded 16, which means the visitors have found the net fewer times than any other side in the top seven. It’s also true at this stage that Salernitana, down in 16th with the threat of relegation hanging over them, have scored just two goals less than Roma. That shows clearly where the team’s problems stem from, and the coaching staff must fix it ASAP, either by improving the attack or bringing in a new face to bolster their forwards this month. Some big names of the game would surely be attracted to joining an Italian side with a real chance of finishing in the prizes.
The away team arrives in Naples boasting an unbeaten run of three wins and a pair of draws. The 11 points collected from the last 15 available is just one shy of the host’s efforts over the same period. If this match follows the form and trends, we will see a hard-fought and maybe even bad-tempered match with little between the sides at full-time. Roma has won each of its last two in this competition, beating Fiorentina 2-0 at home before beating Spezia by the same scoreline on the road. Four goals scored, two clean sheets, and six points collected. That will help instill confidence and courage in the Roma camp.
Napoli v Roma prediction
Napoli is top of the league, has been scoring goals and winning games for fun, are already a dozen points clear, and play at home. That will encourage many followers of Italian football to predict a home win; if the locals are at their best, they should get the job done.
Serie A odds
The pre-match betting odds available to all 22bet members offer a Napoli win at 1.725 with the draw 3.82 and Roma 4.72.
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