Verdict: Napoli win
Best Odds: 8/11
Looking to lay down yet another title marker on Sunday night, Napoli will welcome Roma to the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.
Starting with the hosts, while Napoli might have been left stunned earlier in the month after crashing out of the Coppa Italia at the hands of Cremonese, Luciano Spalletti’s men are enjoying what has become a history-making campaign. Only continuing to gain a string of plaudits from across Europe on either side of the World Cup break, the Azzurri are cruising their way towards this season’s Serie A crown. Opening up this weekend’s fixtures holding a remarkable 12-point buffer at the top of the table, the former Inter Milan boss finds the mood in his camp at a famous high. Last seen in top-flight action claiming a route 2-0 victory away at Salernitana, Napoli will simply be looking to lay down yet another title marker here. In fact, along with breezing their way to the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League, it should also be noted that Sunday’s hosts have suffered just a single Serie A defeat so far this season.
Picking up a knock earlier in the month, Napoli are once again sweating over the fitness of defender Juan Jesus here. However, the runaway Serie A leaders are expecting 21-year-old sensation Khvicha Kvaratskhelia to make a full return.
Once again finding the net against Salernitana last weekend and already recording 13 strikes this season, attacking talisman Victor Osimhen will spearhead Spalletti’s side on Sunday night.
As for the visitors, while Roma might have entered the World Cup’s winter break in the midst of a three-match winless run, Jose Mourinho’s men have come roaring back in some style. Although the former Manchester United boss might have found some growing pressure on his shoulders last year, the Giallorossi now have a Champions League return at the top of their agenda. Opening this weekend’s fixtures sat with just their goal difference keeping them outside the top-four, Sunday’s guests will be desperate to lay down a shock marker here. Last seen putting in another rugged display as they claimed a 2-0 victory away at Spezia, Mourinho’s side are in the midst of a stellar five-match unbeaten run. Likewise, without a single Serie A defeat to their name since back on November 7th, Roma have also impressed with their continued success away from the Stadio Olimpico. In fact, the Giallorossi have not suffered a single domestic defeat on their travels since the start of September.
With continued speculation regarding his future, Nicolo Zaniolo looks set to miss out here. Likewise, long-term absentees Ebrima Darboe and Geogrinio Wijnaldum are still set for a lengthy stint on the sidelines.
Bagging his second post-World Cup strike in last week’s 2-0 victory against Spezia, England international Tammy Abraham will once again lead Roma’s attack here.
Key Factors to Consider
- When the two Italian giants last met back on October 23rd, Napoli picked up a 1-0 victory away at the Stadio Olimpico.
- In fact, the runaway Serie A leaders are unbeaten in each of their last six straight top-flight battles against Roma.
- Sunday’s hosts are unbeaten in their last 12 straight Serie A matchups on home soil – a run that stems back to April 10th.
- On what has become a remarkable purple patch, Napoli have lost just one of their 19 Serie A appearances so far this season.
- Roma have suffered just a single domestic defeat away from the Stadio Olimpico since the start of September.
While Roma might be enjoying a real post-World Cup flurry, Mourinho’s men will know that they face a huge challenge on Sunday night. Despite having their sights set on securing a Champions League return in 2023, Napoli will be desperate to lay down another clinical title marker here. Opening this weekend’s fixtures holding a 12-point buffer at the top of the Serie A table, the Azzurri are breezing their way towards real history this season. Suffering just a single top-flight defeat and booking their Champions League knockout stage ticket, Napoli have also gained a reputation for their continued success on home soil. Likewise, claiming a 1-0 victory when they traveled to the Stadio Olimpico back in October, we’re expecting a similar home win on Sunday.
Verdict: Napoli win
Best Odds: 8/11
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