It is a clash of Champions League spot next season. Both sides are neck-to-neck on the fifth and sixth respectively. Both teams have even collected the same points but Napoli sits on the higher position due to their better goal aggregates. This weekend both will be squaring off for the big result. The winner will definitely have bigger chance to finish on the top four later.
The teams’ previous matches
Roma managed to qualify to the quarter final of Europa League this season after thumping Shakhtar Donetsk 2-1 on the road this midweek. Borja Mayoral netted a brace to extend their four goal cushion in an aggregate while the Ukrainian side only scored one through Junior Moraes. Giallorossi advanced with 5-1 aggregate.
Their counterpart, Il Partenopei managed to stun Milan in San Siro by a 1-0 win last weekend. Lorenzo Insigne’s men could steal a victory through Matteo Politano’s goal. They are now still in race for champions league spot by sitting on the fifth.
Paulo Fonseca has been sticking to his 3-4-2-1 with the transition to 3-4-3. The front three will be occupied by Borja Mayoral, Stephan El-Sharawy and Pedro or Carles Perez. Edin Dzeko is no longer the first choice after his feud with the Portuguese boss, while Henrikh Mikhitariyan is injured and sidelined alongside Nicola Zaniolo, Jordan Veretrout, Juan Jesus and Chris Smalling. In the midfield, Veretrout’s post shall be covered by Lorenzo Pellegrini accompanied by Amadou Diawara or Bryan Cristante in the middle.
Meanwhile, Gennaro Gattuso is currently in favour of 4-2-3-1 formation. Victor Osimhen will get a nod as the frontman supported by Matteo Politano and Lorenzo Insigne on both wings and Pietro Zielenski behind him. There are several names on their injury table such as Andrea Petagna, Faiz Ghoulam, Stanislav Lobotka and Amir Rrahmani.
Players to watch
Roma seems to be turning to their young talents in the past few games. Real Madrid loanee, Borja Mayoral is one to count on as the main scorer. The Spaniard has bagged 13 goals and provided four assists in Serie A and Europa League. Some other fresh key men this season are the Brasilian defender Ibanez, Gianluca Mancini and el capitano, Lorenzo Pellegrini.
Napoli still relies on the senior forward Lorenzo Insigne who has scored 13 goals and made four assists in Serie A. Yet, they also have younger promising figures in the squad such as Fabian Ruzi, the Mexican international Hirving Lozano and the former Inter Milan man, Matteo Politano who seems to shine with Il Partenopei this season.
Roma vs Napoli Prediction
The encounter will be intense and tough to predict. Both sides will be trading attacks and possibly goals too. Any single points would be worthy for them in this final stage of the league. Therefore, Paulo Fonseca’s men and Gattusso’s side are likely to share spoils here in the end.