Like several other Champions League hopefuls, Napoli have endured a rather indifferent start to the 2010-11 campaign by their high standards but have now started to get into the groove.
Last weekend Walter Mazzarri’s side came from behind to defeat Cesena 4-1 away. The win propelled them to sixth place in the table with eight points from five matches, just two behind leaders Inter and Lazio.
On Thursday evening Napoli held Steaua Bucharest to a 3-3 draw in a Europa League group game away from home and seem to have regained their momentum and form that almost saw them qualify for the Champions League places towards the end of the 2009-10 campaign.
Out of the blue
Roma’s start to the season was disappointing but since last weekend things have taken a turn for the better. The 1-0 win against Italian and European champions Inter in Rome was a huge morale-booster that provided the platform for a 2-1 Champions League home win over Cluj in midweek.
At the moment Roma are third from bottom in Serie A with five points from five matches. Yet a closer look at the table would suggest that things are not as desperate as they seem as the Lupi are just one win away from fifth-placed Milan.
However, whether Roma can get that victory against Napoli in Naples is debatable. Claudio Ranieri’s side have lost all their away games this season, both in Serie A and in the Champions League, and against a Napoli side who are very strong at home it will not be easy for the former Italian champions.
Lucarelli is a long-term injury concern for the Azzurri but Mazzarri has all the other players available for the visit of Roma.
Julio Sergio, Taddei and Adriano will miss the trip to Naples with injuries. Mexes is suspended and so is Perrotta.
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