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AS Roma host table toppers Napoli on Sunday in the Serie A after a disappointing week for Jose Mourinho’s men. Roma were humiliated 6-1 by Bodo/Glimt in the Europe Conference League on Thursday night after a difficult 1-0 loss to Juventus last weekend. 



The team from the capital had made a good start to life under Mourinho, winning their first three league games but the high was short-lived. Roma have failed to win back-to-back matches since and have recorded recent defeats to fierce rivals Lazio and European competitors Juve. A good result against Napoli is needed to restore some of that early September positivity around the club.

That however will not be an easy task. Napoli have a 100% record in Serie A after eight matches, the only team to do so in Europe’s top five leagues this season. Luciano Spalletti’s side recorded their first win in the Europa League as well in midweek, defeating Legia Warsaw 3-0 at home. The Neapolitans however have only played Juventus amongst direct rivals and a win against Roma is needed to lay down a marker.



The two sides come into the match with polar opposite forms but it is still anyone’s game.



Jose Mourinho will be without winger Nicolo Zaniolo, who hobbled off with an injury in last Sunday’s encounter with Juve. Although tests showed no serious problems, he is still expected to miss a couple of weeks of action. The game will also come too soon for Chris Smalling who picked up an injury in training and should return next week.



Leonardo Spinazzola remains ruled out due to the Achilles rupture he suffered at the Euros. 

Roma Predicted Lineup: Patricio; Karsdorp, Mancini, Ibanez, Vina; Veretout, Cristante; El Shaarawy, Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Abraham

Napoli have things going for them at the moment and have no major injury concerns. Kevin Malcuit and Adam Ounas are the only doubts for Spalletti, who has a fit and firing squad at his disposal.

Napoli Predicted Lineup: Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Koulibaly, Rrahmani, Rui; Anguissa, Ruiz; Lozano, Politano, Insigne; Osimhen



AS Roma’s play this season has been built around summer signing Tammy Abraham, who has not disappointed. The striker has two goals and two assists in the league this season but to view his contribution only in goal output would be to only see one side of the coin.


Roma vs Napoli Preview
Courtesy: AS Roma/Twitter


The Englishman, frequently criticised during his time at Chelsea for not being involved in the buildup, has showcased all aspects of his game. His holdup play has been excellent and he has combined well with his fellow attackers in Henrikh Mkhitaryan and co. His form earned him a return to the England fold and he will have to be at his best if Roma are to upset Napoli.

Napoli have an in-form young striker of their own in Victor Osimhen who has turned it around after a disappointing first season in Italy. The Nigerian forward has nine goals in all competitions already and has scored in seven of the last eight games for his club. 



Osimhen has a lethal combination of physicality and technicality which is impossible to defend against when he is on song. He has worked well with Lorenzo Insigne and the duo will be key to breaking down a decent Roma defence.



Given the form and quality shown so far, Napoli are the outright favourites to get the three points on Sunday. However, Mourinho and his sides flourish when their backs are against the wall and it would be a classic Mourinho moment if he can pull off an upset and throw Roma back in the title picture. However, the difference between the two sides is too wide at this point and FootTheBall predicts Napoli 2-0 Roma.


Ritwik Khanna
Economics student supporting FC Goa and Manchester United, in true masochistic way. Can be found reading Jonathan Wilson and Sid Lowe or planning a quirky trip in his free time.

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