Monday, March 18, 2019

Prediction: Napoli vs Roma

Juan Pablo Aravena in Free Soccer Predictions, Serie A 27 Oct 2018

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Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: 888sport

An authentic clash of giants will happen this Sunday in the Italian Serie A, as Roma and Napoli will lock horns in what’s going to be a thrilling encounter in Italy’s top flight. The Giallorossi side can move up to fifth place with a win, while the Partenopei side will want to maintain the four-point gap with a Juventus side that already topped Empoli earlier on Saturday. These two sides will meet on Sunday evening at Stadio San Paolo.

Napoli

Carlo Ancelotti has had a relatively easy transition to Napoli, and the veteran manager has the Partenopei side flying high at the domestic level. Despite losing star playmaker Jorginho during the transfer window, Napoli have adjusted and look as good as they have looked in recent years. The rise of players such as Lorenzo Insigne and Piotr Zielinski certainly contributes, but overall Napoli seem far more dominant than in years’ past, but they also have far more balance on both ends of the pitch. Ancelotti’s experience has been a huge plus, but their current form will be tested against a Roma side that can easily complicate any side in the world. Can they get the job done and show – once again – that they are a few steps above the majority of the domestic competition, just as it has been the case in the last few years? For what is worth, Napoli currently sit in second place in the Serie A standings with 21 points (W7, L2).

Team News

Vlad Chiriches (knee) and Simone Verdi (groin) have been ruled out ahead of this game.

Two others are doubtful since Amin Younes (Achilles) and Sebastiano Luperto (illness) have been listed as game-time decisions. Both are unlikely to play, though.

AS Roma

If there was a way to represent properly how Roma have done this season, it would be “inconsistent”. Despite having one of the most talented squads in the Serie A and bolstering one of the most in-form strikers in the world in Edin Dzeko, it seems as if Roma can’t click it all together. That is concerning if we realise roughtly one third of the season is already in the books. Currently they sit in seventh place with 14 points (W4, D2, L3) and their goalscoring record sums their season perfectly. They have already scored 16 times (third-highest tally in the competition) but have also conceded 12 times (third-highest mark among Top 10 sides). Ergo, one would think that the team simply need to solve their defensive woes to push forward in the standings, but it is not going to be as easy as it sounds. Especially considering their opponent this Sunday, as Napoli have one of the most deadly attacking lines in the Serie A featuring players such as Insigne, Jose Callejon and Dries Mertens, just to name a few.

Team News

Right-back Rick Karsdorp (thigh) and winger Diego Perotti (calf) won’t play in Sunday’s contest.

Emerging youngster Justin Kluivert has been listed as doubtful due to a muscular problem. He will undergo a late-fitness test to determine his availability.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Napoli own the second-best scoring record in the Serie A with 18 goals in nine matches. Only Juventus (21 goals in 10 games) have scored more.
  • Roma, on the other hand, sit in the Top 3 of both scored and conceded among the Top 10 sides in the Serie A standings.
  • The previous meetings between these two sides have been exactly tight. Three of the last four games between these two have had both over 2.5 goals scored and both teams scoring.
  • Overall, however, only three of the last seven league meetings between these two sides have been both clubs netting.
  • The five-game form gives Napoli an edge here. They have collected 12 of their last 15 points available (W4, L1), while Roma have grabbed only nine of those (W3, L2).

Conclusion

This game has all the makings of being an open match. Therefore, I believe both sides will end up scoring here.

Verdict: Both teams to score – yes

Best Odds: 4/7

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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