Napoli will bid to extend their unbeaten streak to five league games when they visit the capital to face Roma on Sunday.
Gennaro Gattuso’s men climbed up to fifth in the table by beating AC Milan 1-0 last weekend. That left them level on points with Roma, although they have a superior goal difference and a game in hand.
They were due to play Juventus in midweek, but the game was postponed due to a coronavirus ruling. Napoli should therefore be fresh and raring to go when they lock horns with Roma on Sunday.
Fatigue could be an issue for Paulo Fonseca’s team. Roma had to travel to Ukraine on Thursday night to play Shakhtar Donetsk in the Europa League. They won the game, wrapping up a 5-1 aggregate triumph, but they could be feeling a little jet lagged.
Roma have been flat track bullies this season. They regularly beat the smaller teams in Serie A, but they have struggled against the heavyweights. Since the start of 2021, they have lost to Lazio, Juventus and AC Milan, which explains why they are languishing in sixth place.
Recent history is also against them. These teams last met in November, and Napoli secured an emphatic 4-0 victory in that game. Lorenzo Insigne put Gattuso’s side 1-0 up on 30 minutes, and Fabian Ruiz Pena doubled their advantage after the break. Late goals from Dries Mertens and Matteo Politano completed the rout, while Roma managed just one shot on target in the entire game.
Napoli have won their last two games against Roma, which could give them a psychological boost at the weekend. However, they will be wary of Roma’s home form. The Giallorossi have suffered just one defeat at the Stadio Olimpico this season – a 2-1 loss to AC Milan on February 28.
Yet Roma’s last Serie A game was pretty underwhelming. They had 21 shots on goal and six on target, but they continually misfired and ended up losing 2-0 to Parma. That was a dismal result when you consider that Parma are 19th in the table, and they had won just two of their previous 27 games.
They may be strong at home, but when you factor in their poor recent record against Napoli and the fatigue they will be feeling after their exploits on Thursday night, the odds on Napoli getting a result in this game start to look appealing.