Napoli vs Roma
2016/17 Italian Serie A.
Date: Saturday, 15 October 2016
Kick-Off at 14:00 UK,
Venue: Stadio San Paolo (Napoli).

Fans and Serie A neutrals alike are surely in for a treat as Napoli and Roma square off in a mammoth tie at the Stadio San Paolo this Saturday.

Unfortunately for the Partenopei, the international hiatus has robbed them of a key player. Arkadiusz Milik, who was signed in an attempt to replace Gonzalo Higuain, has been a revelation in his debut season in Italy. The Polish international is set to miss at least six months after suffering an ACL injury whilst on duty for his country, and now the goal-scoring burden will fall on his teammates.

Whilst Milik will be sorely missed, Napoli aren’t exactly stripped of attacking options. Lorenzo Insigne, Jose Callejon, Dries Mertens, and skipper Marek Hamsik – who is just 14 goals from catching Diego Maradona – are all choices Maurizio Sarri could call on for this must-win fixture. However, with a potentially tricky Champions League clash against Turkish powerhouse Besiktas coming up, Sarri will have to decide how to effectively manage his squad whilst remaining competitive.

As for Roma, if one’s into patterns, then unfortunately, Luciano Spalletti’s side look set to lose this game. The Lupi have not won any of their away Serie A games this season, let alone any road fixture, for that matter. It’s surely a maddening trend Spalletti will want to see ended quickly as they are dropping valuable points that will make the difference between they even remotely challenge Juventus for the Scudetto. Or, naturally secure Champions League football versus Europa League action or nothing at all.

Despite his seemingly ageless nature, Francesco Totti is highly unlikely to start for the visitors, and will be probably introduced from the bench. The 40, yes 40 year old has turned back the years with some solid showings, and Spalletti will want to make sure he is well rested for their upcoming Europa League match.

After a rough start, Edin Dzeko appears to be enjoying his football again. The Bosnian striker has scored five out of Roma’s 16, and the team will hope he can pick up right where he left off before the international break.

Napoli vs Roma: Head-to-head statistics

  • Napoli have won their last nine Serie A games.
  • The Partenopei have scored at least two goals during that time period.
  • Roma have yet to win a road fixture (in all competitions) this season.
  • The Giallorossi have won two out of their last six games against Napoli, but none were at the Stadio San Paolo (lost three, drawn one).
  • Napoli have not lost any of their past 20 home games against teams ranked below them (18 wins, two draws).
  • By contrast, Roma, who are ranked third, have won just one out of their past 20 away fixtures against higher-placed sides.

Napoli vs Roma: Prediction

Curiously enough, the last six meetings between these two teams have seen one team fail to score. There have been over 2.5 goals in all but one of Roma’s ten away games, so fans really should be in for a major thriller here.

It will be interesting to see how Napoli adjust due to Milik’s absence, but as noted before, the Partenopei still have plenty of attacking options. The hosts also have that impressive home record and that should come in handy for Saturday’s big game.

Napoli are slight favorites to at least earn a draw from this game, but given Roma’s solid attack, it could be tough for them to keep a clean sheet.

Napoli vs Roma: Betting Tips

  • Over 2.5 goals at 13/20 (1.65)
  • Both teams to score – YES at 4/7 (1.57)
  • Napoli to draw or win – YES at 2/7 (1.29).