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Coppa Italia

  • February 12, 2014
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio San Paolo, Napoli
  • Referee: G. Rocchi
  • • Attendance: 40000

Napoli win Aggregate 5 - 3

Napoli-Roma Preview: Crunch Coppa clash for Benitez and Garcia

Napoli-Roma Preview: Crunch Coppa clash for Benitez and Garcia

Both coaches will be desperate to put themselves within one game of winning a significant piece of silverware in their first seasons at their respective clubs

Napoli and Roma will clash at the San Paolo on Wednesday with a place in the Coppa Italia final very much up for grabs.

The Giallorossi triumphed 3-2 in the first leg last week courtesy of a late Gervinho strike, but the two away goals scored by Rafael Benitez's men could prove to be crucial.

Meanwhile, both coaches will be desperate to move to within one game of ending their debut seasons with their respective clubs with some silverware.

Benitez's Napoli are hoping to regain the trophy they last won in 2012, under Walter Mazzarri, while Garcia will be hoping to deliver Roma a record 10th Coppa Italia triumph.

The Biancocelesti also ended their city rivals' run of six consecutive wins by holding Rudi Garcia's Scudetto chasers to a goalless draw in Serie A on Sunday. Roma now face an even tougher test of their trophy-winning credentials whey they take on Napoli in their own back yard.

The Partenopei have failed to score just once in 17 matches on home soil this term, with Parma the only side to have come away from San Paolo with a clean sheet, in November's 1-0 triumph.

Napoli's fine home form continued on Saturday, as Gonzalo Higuain's double and a Gokhan Inler strike consigned Clarence Seedorf to his first league defeat since becoming AC Milan coach.

That 3-1 win, coupled with Roma's derby stalemate, helped Napoli close the gap on the men from the Stadio Olimpico to four points, and the Neapolitans will be looking to strike a psychological blow on Wednesday, as well as secure their place in the final.

Roma's form on the road has been shaky of late. They have won just one of their last six league games away from home - including Sunday's game, which was their 'away' derby - though four of those fixtures have been drawn.

Garcia is concerned by his side's recent struggles in front of goal, though, and believes greater composure will help get them back to winning ways.

After Sunday's draw with Lazio, the Frenchman said: "In fitness terms, I thought the team was in good shape and played with energy.

"We didn't make very good choices in front of goal, as when it came time to pass it, they shot - and vice versa."

Garcia will have potent attackers - including Gervinho, Francesco Totti and Adem Ljajic - available for the clash, but is still without defensive duo Dodo (thigh) and Federico Balzaretti (groin).

With Benitez needing goals from his side, the Spaniard will have been happy to see his side emerge from the weekend unscathed. Valon Behrami may be in line for a start after making his comeback from a foot injury with a cameo appearance against Milan.

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