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Serie A Preview: Napoli v Roma
These two perennial rivals in Serie A have not shown the best of form this season, but will want to end the year in winning fashion, starting with Sunday's clash at the San Paolo
By Livio Caferoglu
Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica
Maggio, Inler, Gargano, Dossena
Rosi, De Rossi, Heinze, Jose Angel
Simplicio, Greco, Pizarro
Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri is set to name a full-strength XI against Roma, in comparison to their weakened lineup that earned a 1-1 draw at Novara last weekend, as Gokhan Inler and Walter Gargano are ready to replace Blerim Dzemaili and Goran Pandev.
Marek Hamsik will also move from the pivot to accommodate the incoming midfield players, and return to his role behind Edinson Cavani, alongside Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Meanwhile for the visitors Roma, Marco Cassetti, Fabio Borini, Simon Kjaer and Fernando Gago follow Nioolas Burdisso to the treatment table, as Luis Enrique is once more forced to reshuffle his pack.
However, Miralem Pjanic is also suspended and cannot feature, so three changes from the draw with Juventus should see Aleandro Rosi, Fabio Simplicio and David Pizarro step in for Rodrigo Taddei, Federico Viviani and Pjanic.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Napoli won both of last season's fixtures against Roma by 2-0.
- The southern Italian giants have drawn 47 times against Roma in Serie A; only against Torino, with 50, have they drawn more games.
- However, Napoli have won just one of their last six league games, but have drawn four times in the process.
- In addition, Walter Mazzarri's side have won just two of their last six home games.
- Prior to last season, Roma were unbeaten against Napoli in the past 10 Serie A meetings, winning six and drawing four.
- Roma are also winless in their last three games, winning just two of their last seven league matches.
- Interestingly, Daniele De Rossi's strike against Juventus is Roma's only goal in their last three Serie A games.
- Away from home, Luis Enrique's side have lost four of their last five games, without scoring a goal in the last two.
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Top 3 Predictions
SSC Napoli 1-2 Roma
- 18.53 %
SSC Napoli 2-0 Roma
- 12.82 %
SSC Napoli 2-1 Roma
- 11.64 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||May 19, 2013||Roma 2 - SSC Napoli 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Jan 6, 2013||SSC Napoli 4 - Roma 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Apr 28, 2012||Roma 2 - SSC Napoli 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Dec 18, 2011||SSC Napoli 1 - Roma 3|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Feb 12, 2011||Roma 0 - SSC Napoli 2|
|May 19, 2013||Roma 2 - SSC Napoli 1||ITA1|
|May 12, 2013||SSC Napoli 2 - Siena 1||ITA1|
|May 8, 2013||Bologna 0 - SSC Napoli 3||ITA1|
|May 5, 2013||SSC Napoli 3 - FC Internazionale 1||ITA1|
|Apr 27, 2013||Pescara 0 - SSC Napoli 3||ITA1|
|Returns:||Napoli £460.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Draw £65.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Roma £47.50||Sign up with bet365 for a free bet up to £200|
|1||Morgan De Sanctis||Goalkeeper|
|14||Hugo Armando Campagnaro||Defender|
|18||Juan Camilo Zúñiga||Defender|
|7||Mario Alberto Santana||Midfielder|
|16||Daniele De Rossi||Midfielder|
|30||Fabio Henrique Simplicio||Midfielder|
|9||Pablo Daniel Osvaldo||Striker|
Simply put, when the Argentine forward performs on the football pitch, so does his team. Still needs to add more goals to his game, but there can be no contesting his contribution to the Napoli cause. A regular assister and creator of goalscoring opportunities, thanks to his electric pace, rapid feet and devilish vision.
It's been a tough week for Il Capitano, who initially threatened to depart his beloved club if supporter unrest continued to destabilise the team. However, he quickly allayed any fears and vowed to press on with his campaign, starting with his side's trip to Napoli. Still arguably Roma's best player, despite age beginning to catch up with him, the stage is perfectly set for him to defy the critics once more on Sunday.
Napoli should capitalise on their visitors' selection misfortune, but it promises to be a match oozing in quality and entertainment value. The hosts are tipped to start with their strongest XI on Sunday, and this coupled with Roma's defensive frailities means another defeat seems to be on the cards for the under-pressure Luis Enrique.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed