Roma vs Napoli
Stadio Olimpico forms the backdrop for a mouth-watering Serie A encounter between top-four hopefuls Roma and Napoli.
A fiercely contested battle for a top-four Serie A finish threatens to leave Roma behind, with back-to-back winless outings (D1, L1) demoting ‘I Giallorossi’ to eighth in the standings. Last weekend’s disheartening 2-0 loss at Bologna knocked Jose Mourinho’s side down from a five-game unbeaten league streak (W3, D2). But despite hitting a rough patch, Roma’s quest to secure Champions League qualification for the first time since 2017/18 is still alive. Only three points separate them from fourth-placed Bologna ahead of a morale-boosting home return. Before being held to a 1-1 draw to Fiorentina in their most recent home league match, Roma had won seven consecutive games at the Olimpico. They confirmed the result was just a one-off with a commanding 3-0 Europa League victory over Sheriff Tiraspol last time out.
On the other hand, Napoli’s hopes of defending the Scudetto are already dead in the water, but they must make sure to avoid missing out on a coveted top-four finish. Walter Mazzarri’s return to the helm after a decade to replace underperforming Rudi Garcia has yet to produce the desired effect (W3, L4), with ‘I Partenopei’ bowing out of the Coppa Italia in midweek courtesy of a humiliating 4-0 home defeat to Serie A newcomers Frosinone. The picture doesn’t look any better in league action, as they lost two straight matches ‘to nil’ before pulling off a dramatic 2-1 triumph against Cagliari. On a more positive note, Napoli had been undefeated in eight consecutive away league games (W5, D3) before losing to Juventus on their last travel.