Napoli VS AS Roma Prediction
We surely have a Super Sunday in Italian football and the scuffle at “Stadio San Paolo” meets two from The Scudetto pretenders – hosts from Napoli and the vice-champions AS Roma.
Both sides were involved in some midweek European efforts and they were successful for them, though Roma’s result leaves frustration as “The Wolves” can be happy from fact that Bayer Leverkusen failed to win against Barcelona. However, AS Roma are the team which qualified for the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League and “The Giallorossi” can be happy despite the goalless draw vs BATE Borisov. However, Roma reaches the knockout stage with only 6 points won and with 16 goals conceded in their 6 games (goal difference 11:16), but we are sure that there’s some disappointment left in the team.
On other turn Napoli became the team with most goals scored in the UEFA Europa League group stage – 22 goals in 6 matches, which is an evidence for the magical style of “The Little Donkeys”. The 5:2 victory against Legia Warsaw was Napoli’s sixth win in 6 group stage games which makes Napoli the only team which won all possible points – 18 out of 18 (goal difference 22:3).
Back in The Calcio – both clubs will enter in Round 16 as neighbours and after disappointments in the last round. Napoli suffered a surprising defeat in Bologna (2:3), while AS Roma missed to steal all the points from the visit in Torino when Maxi Lopez equalized in the closing seconds of the game. This was Roma’s fifth game without a win and the pressure over Rudi García is rising. Last time when “The Roman Wolves” have shown their teeth was in the “Derby della Capitale” and the relevant 2:0 win over Lazio. In the next five games Roma is with only 3 draws and their biggest wound surely remains the 1:6 defeat from Barcelona.
Napoli of Maurizio Sarri aroused the hunger for first Serie A trophy since 1990 and “Partenopei” are keen for another massive success. Their last Serie A win was against the current leaders – 2:1 vs Inter in game week 14, but the defeat from Bologna caused another rotation in the standings. It’s pretty sure that Gonzalo Higuaín will be the name under the spotlights as “El Pipita” can boast with 6 goals in his last 4 Serie A matches. This makes Higuain the current Serie A top scorer with 14 goals in 15 games and Roma must find the most adequate solution of stopping him.
“The Giallorossi” are on three points behind Napoli and a defeat here can make the gap between them too big, not to mention if Inter wins vs Udinese in Saturday evening – the distance between Roma and the first position will become even bigger. This surely adds some extra pressure to the away team and the importance for a securing a positive result grows.
Maurizio Sarri has his best men all on alert as he rested most of them from the midweek Europa League fixture, so we can expect a fresh and well rested home squad. The only injury concern of “The Little Donkeys” comes with the name of Manolo Gabbiadini, but anyway he still can’t play a significant role in the squad and we won’t be surprised if the 24 years old striker looks for a way out from “San Paolo” during the winter transfer window.
Rudi García can also be happy about the situation in his squad since Maicon returns from suspension, while Mohamed Salah is fit to claim for a starting spot. Gervinho and Francesco Totti are both doubts as they’ve missed some games in the past weeks.
Considering the big charge and the atmosphere of that game we certainly expect some tackles and lots of challenges, even rough ones. That’s why we will take the proposed line for card betting – Over 5.5 Cards in the game.
Referee of the game is Nicola Rizzoli and we expect 6 or more bookings in that game, even a red card, why not?
Possible starting lineups:
Napoli: Reina – Ghoulam, Koulibaly, Albiol, Hysaj – Jorginho, Allan, Hamsik – Insigne, Callejon, Higuain. (4-3-3)
Injured – Manolo Gabbiadini.
AS Roma: Szczesny – Florenzi, Rüdiger, Manolas, Digne – Nainggolan, De Rossi, Pjanic – Salah, Iago Falque, Dzeko. (4-3-3)
Injured – Vasilis Torosidis and Kevin Strootman.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (42 yellow and 7 red cards in 7 Serie A games during the season)