Roma vs Napoli Preview and Expected Lineups – Serie A Round 9

Roma and Napoli are set to square off at the Stadio Olimpico in an intriguing Serie A fixture, and it’s time to preview the game and take a look at the expected lineups. Both sides return to domestic commitments following their European exploits, with the hosts hoping to bounce back from a horrendous Europa League trip to Norway.

Jose Mourinho’s decision to field a rotated XI against Bodo/Glimt backfired on him as Roma fell to a humiliating 6-1 defeat at the Aspmyra Stadion. The Portuguese manager, who reportedly had an outburst in the dressing room at half-time, will be desperate to see a reaction from his players against high-flying visitors.

It took Napoli 76 minutes to break down a stubborn Legia side, but Lorenzo Insigne’s mesmerizing half-volley turned out to have initiated a comprehensive 3-0 Europa League victory. Fresh from getting off the mark in Group C, Luciano Spalletti’s team will be looking to maintain their outrageous start to this Serie A season.

Roma vs Napoli Head-to-Head

Napoli came out victorious in both last season’s Serie A meetings with Roma, putting six unanswered goals past the Giallorossi in the process. They have now won three consecutive top-flight encounters against this opposition, as many triumphs as they had in their ten league duels beforehand (W3, D2, L7).

Barring a 2-1 victory in November 2019, Mourinho’s men have lost four of their last five Serie A matches against Napoli on home soil, drawing a blank twice in that period. With 60% of those showdowns seeing both sides score in matches garnering 3+ overall goals, we could be in for a treat here.

Interestingly, just one of the last 11 Serie A fixtures between Roma and Napoli have ended as a draw. The Partenopei racked up six wins to the capital-based side’s four in that run of games.

Roma Form Preview

A lack of consistency has seen Roma alternate between winning and losing across their last six Serie A outings (W3, L3), though they head into proceedings sitting fourth in the standings. Curiously, all but one of the six games won/lost during that sequence yielded a single-goal margin at full-time, with five seeing the winner on the day benefit from scoring first.

Despite their indifferent showings, the Giallorossi have been a force to be reckoned with at the Stadio Olimpico under Mourinho. Roma have won all six home matches in all competitions this season, including four in Serie A by an aggregate score of 8-2. Delivering action from the get-go, they have opened the scoring in each of their four league games at home this term.

Scoring first could be exactly what the doctor ordered, considering Roma’s inability to grind out a result after falling behind. Indeed, they have lost all three Serie A matches in which they conceded the opener this season.

Player to watch: Tammy Abraham

After Jordan Veretout prevented him from taking a penalty against Juventus last time out, Tammy Abraham will be keen to return to the scoresheet this time around. 

Since scoring a decisive goal to hand Roma a 1-0 home win over Udinese in mid-September, the ex-Chelsea striker has failed to find the net in his last three Serie A appearances.

Napoli Form Preview

It has been a thoroughly impressive start to the season for Napoli, who are on the cusp of making history. Luciano Spalletti has navigated the Partenopei to an eye-catching eight-match winning start to this Serie A campaign. They have never won each of their first nine top-flight games, meaning we could witness to a piece of history here.

Bringing the 2020/21 season into the equation, Napoli have won each of their last eight Serie A fixtures away from home. Another victory here would see them equal the club’s longest winning road streak in their top-flight history. 

Equally prolific in both halves of play, Spalletti’s men have netted 12 Serie A away goals this season, six in each half. In the meantime, they have conceded just two goals across their first four top-flight travels, beating their opposition by identical 2-1 and 4-0 scorelines, two apiece.

Player to watch: Victor Osimhen

It’s fair to say that Victor Osimhen’s second-half introduction against Napoli in midweek Europa League action gave Spalletti’s side a much-needed lethal weapon up top.

In addition to finding the net against the Poles, the Nigerian forward has been in sublime form in Serie A this season, scoring a staggering nine goals in ten league outings so far.

Roma vs Napoli Predicted Line-ups

Roma (4-2-3-1): Rui Patricio; Rick Karsdorp, Gianluca Mancini, Roger Ibanez, Matias Vina; Bryan Cristante, Jordan Veretout; Stephan El Shaarawy, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Henrikh Mkhitaryan; Tammy Abraham.

Napoli (4-2-3-1): David Ospina; Giovanni Di Lorenzo, Amir Rrahmani, Kalidou Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Fabian Ruiz; Matteo Politano, Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne; Victor Osimhen.