Rudi Garcia’s Roma resurgence requires vital victory against Napoli
Rewind just four months and Roma were rampant. Still chasing the Scudetto and playing Champions League football, Rudi Garcia’s guys were living La Dolce Vita.
Now, out of Europe and having won just three of a dozen league outings in 2015, the Giallorossi are in danger of losing their coveted second spot in Serie A to bitter Eternal City rivals Lazio.
Roma, 11/10 favourites with Coral to triumph on home turf, must stop the rot and take all three points from visiting Napoli, if they are to avoid ending this season in a slump.
A first victory in five, against minnows Cesena last time out, will have given the hosts a much needed boost before welcoming Rafa Benitez’s boys to the Stadio Olimpico.
The Giallorossi have won three of their past four duels with Napoli on Roman soil and are 14/5 to win to nil, but need their big names to step up.
Daniele De Rossi’s recent return from injury could not have arrived at a better time, and the Eternal City icon is a fantastic 4/1 in the anytime market to make the difference yet again after grabbing the winner against Cesena.
Playmaker Miralem Pjanic bagged a brace against the Neapolitan outfit last campaign, and is 12/1 to net two or more against Napoli again, while misfiring forward Francesco Totti is 11/2 to get back on track by drawing first blood.
Visitors Napoli, 12/5 for victory, could yet prove to be troublesome guests, however. Boss Benitez is famed for his well-drilled sides, although the Neapolitan team are behind only Juventus and Lazio for league goals scored this season.
At 8/1 to grab three or more against the Giallorossi, Napoli boast an exciting array of attackers that can make an impact at the Olimpico.
Spanish wingman Jose Callejon has been on target in both of his last two outings against Roma, and is 5/2 to run riot again anytime. Meanwhile lethal marksman Gonzalo Higuain, who struck the opener as Napoli sank Garcia’s guys at the Stadio San Paolo earlier this season, is 11/2 to open the scoring once more.
After failing to win on the road in their past four attempts, Benitez also need stars such as captain Marek Hamsik and new boy Manolo Gabbiadini (both 14/5 to strike anytime) to help turn the tide.
Having slipped to fifth in Serie A, Napoli also find themselves having to make up ground in the race for a Champions League place. With so much at stake for these two clubs, this clash has the makings of a classic, so back both teams at 14/1 to score in both halves, or at 12/5 to split the spoils.