Napoli VS AS Roma Prediction
Napoli welcomes AS Roma on Saturday afternoon when both sides are set to kick-off round 8 in the Italian Serie A. Napoli’s boss Maurizio Sarri will be keen to achieve its first ever success against “The Giallorossi” as the 57-year-old coach has never defeated Roma in his career, managing two draws from five attempts. First clash between Napoli and Roma during season 2015-2016 was once again at the “Stadio San Paolo” but it ended without any goals, while “Roman Wolves” won the second leg in Rome with a late winner by Radja Nainggolan, leaving Napoli without a goal scored into Roma’s net for three consecutive meetings.
Napoli vs AS Roma – Team News and Match Preview
Situation in the 2016-17 Serie A season looks the same way as we found its standings at the end of season 2015-2016. After seven rounds we have Napoli and Roma both being runner-ups to the reigning champions Juventus – hosts from Naples are second, on four points from the top, while Roma are closely behind them. Furthermore, Luciano Spalletti’s side shares same number of points alongside its city rivals Lazio, as well as with teams of Cheivo Verona and AC Milan.
Roma’s better goal difference is the reason why they’re above all others and “The Giallorossi” can be even more inspired by the 2-1 win against Inter Milan prior break for international football. Anyway, main issue for Luciano Spalletti seems to be lack of consistency shown by his players as Roma have failed to win back-to-back games thus far. Moreover, they’re still waiting for first away win in the new season and they’ll travel on South after three draws and two defeats in 5 previous visits. Both defeats were in Roma’s last two away Serie A fixtures as first one of them was 0-1 by Fiorentina, followed by the 1-3 loss against Torino in matchday six.
Fortunately Roma’s last two results are both victories and they’ll cover distance to Naples in fine mood after a 4-0 win against Romanian Astra. It was part from Roma’s UEFA Europa League engagement and it was first victory for the club in this season’s UEFA competitions. Few days later Roma accomplished that important victory against “The Nerazzurri” which keeps them straight behind Napoli.
Тhe Neapolitans have suffered one really surprising defeat in Bergamo where they lost 0-1 to Atalanta and that worst possible scenario for Napoli. Thus Juventus, who have just beaten Maurizio Sarri’s former club Empoli earlier the same day, have kept their lead to four points and we’ll see how Napoli’s first loss will affect to the team. In a fact last round’s match vs Atalanta was first defeat for Napoli after the one against Roma in end of April.
Indeed, one very surprising outcome since Napoli not only lost, but they failed to score as well. Of course, a defeat can come at any time and no one is insured he’ll not lose in any match, but that game was just few days after scoring four goals vs Benfica in the UEFA Champions League groups.
Napoli vs AS Roma – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
This seems to be right moment to remind you both sides have their own commitments in both major UEFA competitions and probably that’s the reason why match has been pulled so early on Saturday. Italian Sundays are something typical, but traditionally games scheduled for Saturday are played in the evening – from 18:00 and 20:45 local time. This one starts at 15:00 and only four days later, on Wednesday night, Napoli welcomes Turkish champion Besiktas in another Champions League encounter, while on the day after Roma will host to Austria Vienna for the UEFA Europa League.
Both Italian representatives will play their European matches at home and we can say they won’t face the most difficult opponents, so we can expect main focus to be set towards upcoming Serie A round. This weekend’s clash is a game neither club cannot afford losing and we also have a third side in “The Old Lady” face that will be extremely pleased if game ends with a draw, for example.
Maurizio Sarri has to draft its game plan for Roma, but for upcoming months as well, without Arkadiusz Milik. Polish striker was attracted with a purpose to fill hole left by Gonzalo Higuain’s departure, and he was doing quite well. However, he sustained a cruciate ligament rupture in Poland’s World Cup qualifier win against Denmark, meaning Milik should be out for four to six months. Some optimistic diagnosis are he could start training after just three months, but that winter period can be truly decisive for Napoli’s further hopes.
The 22-year-old Polish predator can be replaced by Manolo Gabbiadini and this opens wonderful opportunity for the 24-year-old Italian, who still can’t shine after his arrival from Sampdoria in January 2015. He must use the moment and this can be last chance for Gabbiadini, if Sarri decides to reward him with credit for such a game. Not that he has many options here… there isn’t another typical striker in Napoli’s formation and all other options are suggesting formation with a “false nine” on top – someone among Lorenzo Insigne or José Callejón.
Spanish defender Raul Albiol still remains a doubt but Maurizio Sarry can rely to serious backup at the back, where he has Nikola Maksimovic and Lorenzo Tonelli in contention. Serb defender looks as a favourite for replacing Albiol since he already made its Serie A debut for Napoli, after making a summer move from another Italian club – Torino.
Luciano Spalletti can pick his squad for Napoli without fresh injury concerns as all names in the list are not something new. Injuries of Thomas Vermaelen, Mário Rui and Antonio Rüdiger reduce defensive options of Spalletti and he’ll once again start with a centre-back duo including Federico Fazio next to Kostas Manolas. Main question is regarding both backs where Roma may start with same players used against Inter, meaning Alessandro Florenzi can once again start in midfield, instead on the right-back.
Spalletti aims to build a compact midfield for that game with purpose to stop the strong wing-play of Napoli – Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens. Besides technical and speedy wingers Napoli has, Roma must also work hard for winning central part of the field where Spalletti has fully fit Kevin Strootman and Daniele De Rossi, who’ll have to keep an eye to Marek Hamsik and duo Allan/Jorginho. In these circumstances Radja Nainggolan may be reintroduced in the starting lineup but this pretty much depends on Spalletti’s decision, regarding where he plan to use Florenzi.
Match update 14.10.2016: Bruno Peres and Kevin Strootman have been ruled out of the group for Napoli because of injuries and that will cause more headache to Roma’s boss Luciano Spalletti ahead of Saturday’s “Derby del Sole”. Leandro Paredes is one of the options to cover Kevin Strootman in a midfield trio, but we won’t be surprised if Roma revert to a 4-2-3-1 formation with living legend of Italian football Francesco Totti into the starting XI. Juan Jesus will most likely start at the left-back in Peres’ absence. Meanwhile Radja Nainggolan works hard to overcome a minor muscular problem and he should be ready for the midfield battle.
Roma’s strongest link seems to be the front line where they also hold lot of pace. Stopping of trio Diego Perotti, Mohamed Salah and Edin Dzeko can be real challenge for Napoli’s defense here and we should keep in mind that “Wolves” have even more attacking strength – Gerson, Juan Iturbe, Stephan El Shaarawy and captain Francesco Totti can be used in any part of the match.
Final conclusion and Betting Prediction
Napoli can rely on an extra boost given by the typical hot atmosphere at the “San Paolo”. Ticket sales are disabled for people living in the Rome area, due to the often scenes of violence between fans of both clubs. Latest and worst example remains death of a Napoli supporter Ciro Esposito two years and a half ago, right before the 2014 Coppa Italia Final.
Nevertheless, we all know fans don’t play on the field but they can surely improve morale of their favourites and we expect more by Napoli here. Roma fails to impress on the road, their defense looks shaky and they can be grateful for all the missed scoring chances by Inter last round. Hosts from Naples can benefit from that.
Our stake goes on the home side – Napoli to win against Roma (1X2 Betting).
Venue: “Stadio San Paolo”, Naples.
Referee: Daniele Orsato.
Possible starting lineups of Napoli and AS Roma
SSC Napoli: Pepe Reina – Faouzi Ghoulam, Nikola Maksimovic, Kalidou Koulibaly, Elseid Hysaj – Jorginho, Allan, Marek Hamsik – Dries Mertens, Jose Callejon, Manolo Gabbiadini. (4-3-3)
AS Roma: Wojciech Szczesny – Juan Jesus, Federico Fazio, Konstantinos Manolas, Alessandro Florenzi – Kevin Strootman, Daniele De Rossi, Radja Nainggolan – Diego Perotti, Mohamed Salah, Edin Dzeko. (4-3-3)