Champions League qualification is up for grabs and it’s also a rematch
of the Coppa Italia semi-final, as Napoli and Roma meet for the fourth
time this season. In their three meetings so far this term Roma have won
two and Napoli one, with both sides scoring 5 in that time.
The two teams are pretty well matched, even though the Giallorossi hold
a 6-point lead over their rivals in the standings and with a game in
hand. Roma lie second on 58 points, Napoli third on 52. At home
Benitez’s team have earned just over half of their points in the
standings (28 from 52). They have recorded eight wins, four draws and
one defeat from 13 matches at the San Paolo.
The last time the Partenopei won in front of their own fans was on
February 8 in a 3-1 win over AC Milan. They only managed a 1-1 draw in
their last home league game against Genoa on February 24.
Their chief threat is Argentine striker Higuain: he’s scored 13 goals
in Serie A this term, with only Tevez (15) and Rossi (14) finding the
net more. El Pipita has attempted 66 shots in total this season and is
his team’s top assist maker, having laid on seven goals for his
team-mates. This confirms some of the Napoli players’ claims that “He’s
more of a number 10 than Cavani, who can also set his team-mates up.”
He’s scored two goals against Roma already this season, one in the
league and one in the Coppa Italia.
Defender Albiol has recorded the most minutes for his team this season,
featuring for 2,141. Here’s how Napoli lined up in their last league
match, a 1-1 draw at Livorno: (4-2-3-1) Reina; Maggio, Fernandez,
Britos, Goulam; Inler, Jorginho; Callejon, Hamsik, Mertens; Pandev.