The Azzurri will hope for a win in Rome and put more pressure on leaders Milan at the top of the table...Scudetto Challenge Over?
Last weekend was supposed to be Roma's final chance to resuscitate their Scudetto ambitions. The former Italian champions had been somewhat inconsistent in the new year and despite a game in hand had fallen off the pace - a win against Inter was to turn around their fortunes.
However, Roma lost 5-3 at San Siro and now Claudio Ranieri's side have been reduced to target a Champions League spot. Stationed outside the top-six in seventh, the Giallorossi have mustered 39 points from 23 matches and are three points behind fourth-place Lazio and a massive ten points behind league leaders Milan.
Like Inter, Napoli will provide a similarly tough test, which Ranieri knows as much, and says, "The game against Napoli will be very difficult. Napoli are a great team. In the last game against them we played well, but the created more chances.
"I think it's the players who render the team to win, not the formations we play. How do you stop Marek Hamsik? By not turning up so the game is cancelled."
Milan, Here We Come
At the start of the 2010-11 campaign, Napoli were expected to engage in a multi-way battle for a Champions League place. With the second half of the season well under way, the Partenopei have emerged as genuine contenders for the Scudetto, and have sustained their consistency and focus.
Heading into Week 25, Walter Mazzarri's side are just three points behind league leaders Milan with 46 points from 24 matches. With the Rossoneri having dropped points in their last two encounters, Napoli have gained ground, their 2-0 victory over Cesena last weekend seeing them bounce back brilliantly from the shock defeat to Chievo.
In the reverse fixture in the league this season, Napoli defeated Roma 2-0 but Mazzarri claims that they cannot rely on past exploits and says, "Roma are a great side, one of the strongest in the league and they are full of champions, so it will be hard for Napoli.
"It will be an important test for us to understand where we are at mentally. The nice thing about this championship is that everything is unpredictable."
Adriano is injured and will miss the game. Mexes and Nicolas Burdisso are suspended.
Grava and Vitale are injured and are unavailable for the trip to Rome.
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