Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 11/5
Napoli’s perfect Serie A record will be put to a difficult test on Sunday night with Maurizio Sarri’s men making a trip to Olimpico to lock horns with in-form AS Roma. Both sides boast some top-class talent in respective squad and we expect to see a fiercely contested match.
Last season marked the end of an era at AS Roma with legendary captain Francesco Totti hanging up his boots and taking a seat in the executive office alongside the new sporting director Monchi.
Former Sevilla transfer guru pulled some respectable moves during summer to help AS Roma boost their squad with exciting talents. Despite the fine work in the market it took some time for AS Roma to find the winning formula however but Eusebio Di Francesco’s men seem to be finally finding their rhythm. The Giallorossi are on a four-match winning streak and will be looking to continue the purple patch against the Serie A leaders. The 2-0 victory at AC Milan last time out provides plenty of optimism for AS Roma ahead of the Napoli visit and there is no doubt that Di Francesco will urge his players to go out and replicate the fine performance displayed against the Rossoneri. AS Roma are well aware of the threat ahead of them and are likely to adopt a somewhat more physical approach as a response to Napoli’s high-tempo fluid game.
The hosts will be without Stephan El Shaarawy, Rick Karsdorp, Patrik Schick, Gregoire Defrel and Emerson Palmieri.
Kevin Strootman is unlikely to feature whereas there is a question mark on the availability of Daniele De Rossi.
Not only have they won all seven matches in the Serie A this season, Napoli have also demonstrated true power and strength which make them the biggest challengers to Juventus’ title defense this term.
Partenopei lead line with maximum 21 points to their name, two ahead of Juventus and they make a trip to Rome under pressure to extend the winning run and keep the champions at bay. Maurizio Sarri has transformed Napoli into a well-oiled machine characterized by quality and cohesion which results in mind-blowing performances that are both effective and attractive. Sarri has introduced a string of tactical changes to Napoli and his 4-3-1-2 and 4-3-3 versions have made Napoli one of the most exciting sides to watch. High pressing and zonal marking is what stifles the opposition and helps Napoli outclass most of their rivals. Playing out from the back on a high tempo, Napoli are calm and composed on the ball and quick in transition. Seemingly unbeatable, Partenopei are vulnerable as demonstrated in their 2-1 Champions League defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk. Without a proper answer to a more physical approach, Napoli could struggle against AS Roma.
Arkadiusz Milik’s most recent cruciate injury leaves him unavailable until at least 2018.
Algeria defender Faouzi Ghoulam is struggling with a muscle injury and is expected to be out of contention as well.
Key Factors to Consider
- Napoli are yet to drop points in Serie A this season
- AS Roma are coming off from a five-match winning run
- Hosts only conceded two goals in last six games
- Napoli are the highest scoring Serie A side with 25 goals in 7 matches
- Dries Mertens scored 7 goals in as many Serie A matches
Napoli face the biggest test to their title ambitions thus far. AS Roma are slowly but surely improving form and finding their rhythm and will be considered a major threat to Partenopei’s perfect Serie A record. Sarri’s men are impressive this season but could find it hard against a more physical approach from the hosts. This could be the time they lost their first Serie A match.
Verdict: Home win
Best Odds: 11/5
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