Napoli and Roma face each other in the Derby del Sole at Stadio San Paolo on Saturday for Round 27 of Serie A. Both of these teams need the three points for very different reasons; Roma are fighting for a Champions League spot while the Partenopei look to win the Scudetto after 28 years. The kick-off is scheduled for 07:45 pm GMT on 3 March.
Napoli come to this match with an excellent run of form, having won ten straight league games. They are the league leaders and are in a fierce competition with Juventus, who are second trailing behind by four points with a game in hand.
— Kevin Strootman (@Kevin_strootman) March 3, 2018
Juventus will play Lazio at Stadio Olimpico few hours before this clash and given the Bianconeri lose some points in that fixture, Napoli will have a real chance of extending the lead at the top of the league table.
Roma are fifth in the league table with 50 points from 26 points. Victories over Verona, Benevento, and Udinese had made us believe that the Giallorossi have regained their form but two straight defeats including last week’s 2-0 loss to Milan at home, clearly showed that Di Francesco’s men lack something.
The Lupi will be looking to bounce back to winning ways, but it won’t be easy to come by against a Naples-based side; which, after getting knocked out of the Europa League last month, will be solely focused on the league.
The Italian forward has helped Napoli in their fight for the title with stellar performances throughout the season. The 26-year-old was crowned with a man of the match award in last three consecutive games, and we are rooting for another mesmerizing performance from the forward.
The Turkish forward has been performing at an elite level as of late for the Giallorossi. The 20-year-old scored five times in his last five appearances and Roma will need him in his best shape, if they are to escape the San Paolo with points.
Sarri’s men got the edge in the reverse fixture of this league tie, winning it by a close 1-0 margin. Insigne’s 20th-minute goal was enough for the Partenopei, as Roma couldn’t find the back of the net.
Roma have the slight edge if we look at the last ten derbies with the Giallorossi winning it in five occasions, four wins for Napoli while one of them ended with the teams sharing a point.
Maurizio Sarri will be without full-back Faouzi Ghoulam, who had a significant injury setback back in November 2017 and won’t be back before April. Mario Rui has filled-in his position and is performing great, so the Portuguese is expected to start this game.
Vlad Chiriches is also unavailable, but the Partenopei will be boosted with the return of Arkadiusz Milik, who is likely to make the bench on Saturday.
Eusebio Di Francesco will be without Maxime Gonalons and Rick Karsdorp. Both of them are ruled out with injuries. Lorenzo Pellegrini limped-off the pitch with a thigh injury during training last week and won’t be available for this league tie.
Napoli vs Roma Lineup (Predicted XI)
Napoli Lineup (4-3-3)
Rui (LB), Koulibaly (LCB), Albiol (RCB), Hysaj (RB)
Hamsik (LCM), Jorginho (CDM), Allan (RCM)
Roma Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Kolarov (LB), Fazio (LCB), Manolas (RCB), Florenzi (RB)
Rossi (CDM), Strootman (CDM)
Perotti (LWF), Nainggolan (CAM), Under (RWF)
Napoli vs Roma Prediction
Napoli have won a club-record ten straight league matches and are the favorites to win here. It won’t be easy though, as despite being in a below-par form, the Rome-based side have still got the players that can change the course of the game anytime.
It will be an intense affair on Sunday evening as the two big names of Italian football fight for the all-important three points, and we can promise the fans that this clash will be worth watching.
Our Prediction: A 1-0 win for Napoli