Derby Del Sol Roma vs Napoli Preview #373


Roma are coming off a massive Champions League win against Russian side cska Moscow as they shoot to the top of the group after a disappointing performance last weekend against SPAL. The momentum and confidence they seemingly lost over the weekend was restored on Tuesday night at the Stadio Olimpico. Confidence and momentum is something that is truly required for the big test they face on Sunday night. Roma travel to Naples for Serie A match of the week. Two Italian heavyweights go head-to-head in front of the entire nation. We will see another Edition of the derby Del Sol between Roma and Napoli. While this Derby doesn’t have the violence and hatred that the Rome Derby provides on a competitive standpoint at least over the last 5 years it is one of the most enticing matches of football in the country has to offer. Derby Del Sol translating to the derby of the Sun referred to as the most successful Club outside of Northern Italy. The meaning of the Derby is very much in the name as Central Italy vs Southern Italy which are considered the hottest climates in Italy. The Derby Del Sol has been played since 1929 which has included 162 matches with Roma leading in this derby with 62 wins while Napoli has only managed 48 wins. The Derby itself historically has been very much in favor of the Romans. However as Napoli has gotten stronger over the last decade this Derby has been a lot more balanced than the numbers suggest. This is one of the most evenly-matched derbies in Italian football. Over the last two seasons the season series has been split down the middle. With the home team’s having an 0-4 record over the last two seasons. Last season Napoli went into the Stadio Olimpico and squeak out a 1-0 win. In the return fixture at the Stadio San Paolo Roma steamrolled Naples 4-2. There has been a lot of changes made between the two teams as Roma have lost key players and added a lot of new faces while Napoli lost Jorginho and Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea as well while bringing in Carlo Ancelotti. Napoli are in great form while Roma or trying to pick up stream hoping to use their Champions League victories to inspire them to another derby win at the Stadio San Paolo.


A.S Roma 6th 4-2-3 14Pts


Roma have found themselves in similar circumstances as they were when they beat Lazio in the Derby of Rome. They were coming off a recent loss to inferior opponent while coming off a recent victory. Derbies are so hard to call and there’s no question about it that Roma thrives under these sort of circumstances. Roma tactically need to outsmart Napoli. Roma shouldn’t make too many crazy changes ahead of the derby but I would make slight modifications to make this team as strong as possible. Roma needs to be strong at almost every position. I think we should see the return of Rome is regular starting defense. Alex Kolarov should rejoin Roma’s backline that features Kostas Manolas Federico Fazio and Alexandro Florenzi. Roma’s defensive Midfield  pair Daniele de Rossi and Steven nzonzi have been absolutely brilliant they have worked so well together as a pair as the holding midfielders of this team. There shouldn’t any change there as I think they have what it takes to make a big impact against Napoli. I would actually keep the identical attacking Midfield that we saw against Moscow. Lorenzo Pellegrini Stephan El Shaarawy and Cengiz Under. They provide speed and intelligence and Lorenzo Pellegrini passing ability and vision can be influential in this match. Upfront probably the most important player in this match for Roma. Edin Dzeko is the Champions League top scorer with 5 goals and after his two goal one assist performance Tuesday was named champions league player of the week. He needs to take that momentum into this game to score a few past this strong Napoli side. in his previous match against Napoli he scored two goals that completely broke open the game. I see him being the key player in this match for Roma. He should have no issues finding the back of the net if given service. The Bosnian is also on record watch as he is just one goal away from moving up the 8th on Roma’s all time scoring list. No change of formation needed the 4-2-3-1 how’s work exceptionally well. Roma will have a big task on their hands but they have the players and the team to do it again.



Napoli 2nd 7-0-2 21Pts


Napoli are a more sophisticated and intelligent team under new manager Carlo Ancelotti. It still appears they are the one team capable of going for Juve’s throne. With quality surrounding this entire Squad he has tapped into a different aspect of this team that has proved to be effective. Now this team does have downfalls that was highlighted and their 5-0 loss to Sampdoria as beginning of the season. Napoli quite clearly are in better form than Roma but that doesn’t necessarily mean they will get a result. In their last two meetings with Roma over the last tow season at the Stadio San Paolo they have conceded seven goals while only scoring 3. The teams may have been different then than now but Roma seems to have their number in their own stadium. However this is a very high press attacking Napoli team that can take you for dead when given the opportunity. This team beat high-flying Liverpool in the Champions League and recently stole a 2-2 draw from Paris st-germain. This is an incredibly strong team with some real quality in their side. with likes of dries Mertens Zielinski and Lorenzo Insigne leading the pack. They have several other key players around them and have the ability to break things down with their fast-paced mentality and they’re  very dangerous on the counter attack. They are in incredible form at the moment and although Roma have the opportunity to Flatline them this team just seems incredibly strong to handle them. I would see no reason for Carlo Ancelotti to change anything as Napoli are high flying. I understand the importance of points at this point of the season because of how strong Juventus is. They want to avoid all kinds of reliving the Horrors of Roma effectively knocking them out of the title race last season. Under Carlo Ancelotti they are a disciplined team a team that won’t make many mistakes. This is one of the best teams with arguably the best player in Serie A. The progress Lorenzo insigne has made has been phenomenal. He has put in a scoring clinic this season he has already scored more goals under Carlo Ancelotti than last season under Sarri. Not to mention he has quite a bit of experience against Roma he scored in both matches last season it’s going to be a job trying to contain what he can do. Lorenzo insigne is the key player for Napoli because of what he can do in the attacking sense and he can facilitate his own shot as well as well as others. Which makes him incredibly difficult to deal with. If not we aren’t playing well he can certainly keep them in the game because of his impact. Roma have a tough task on their hands





Bottom Line



The bottom line is  Derbies are different from regular matches. They have a different meaning and you never want to lose one regardless of its importance. These teams may not hate each other but the competitive spirit is there. The results of this game is extremely hard to call given the circumstances. The records and their current form are irrelevant in matches like this. This derby may not be as hated as the Derby of Rome but on a competitive basis this is extremely enticing football. This is what makes this Derby in particular especially exciting Napoli and Roma are extremely similar teams. Their point of attack and the resources they have are somewhat similar. Both teams have extremely fast and pace players as well as a master facilitator. These teams in all likelihood from the first minute of the match will go all-out attack against each other. In that style Roma would have a slight Advantage because they have before Superior keeper as Robin Olsen certainly as better David Ospina. On the attacking a aspect I would say Napoli has a slight Edge but overall they are pretty much even in terms of what they can bring forward. From A striker standpoint Roma has a massive Advantage with Edin Dzeko who was not only clinical but he stands at 6 foot 5 and is incredibly aggressive and can use his size to become and Incredibly dangerous threat in the air. Napoli  do not have a player of his stature in terms of a physically and imposing Striker. However Lorenzo Insigne gives Napoli the huge advantage on the counter if they can get forward on a consistent basis it could be trouble. Essential they are split in every category. Defensively Napoli has a slight Edge but not by much. When this Roma defense performs to its best they’re incredibly hard to get through. The manager aspect of it I think it’s also fairly even obviously Carlo Ancelotti is a  Champions League winner but DiFrancesco at the current moment has innovated and tactical ideas that can break down Napoli. He’s has come into the San Paulo and taken Napoli out before and he can do it again. The home teams have struggled in this fixture over the last three seasons regardless of the situation. That’s why I believe Roma have a slight Advantage given how well they have performed at the San Paulo on a current  winning streak in a place that most teams fall over is a huge psychological advantage. Napoli quite clearly has the better team and are in better form but it in Derby games form doesn’t really count for much. This is as hard to predict as any match this week. I’m afraid I’m going to sit on the fence because these teams are two similar to each other and in this match is always hard to tell who would be the likely favorites. However I believe Roma need this more than Napoli does they in a more desperate hunt of points as they need to push their season in a positive direction. Coming off a huge win in the Champions League Roma have that momentum to take them out will history repeat itself at the Stadio San Paolo or will Napoli find a way to protect their City from the Romans.



Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-2-3-1
GK: Robin Olsen
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Alexandro Florenzi
DEF MID: Danielle De Rossi(C) , Steven Nzonzi
Front Three: Cengiz Under, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Stephen El Shaarawy 
Striker: Edin Dzeko
Manager: Eusebio Di Francesco



Napoli’s Projected starting XI 4-4-2
GK: Ospina
DEF: Hysaj, Koulibaly, Albiol, Rui
DEF MID: Verdi,Zielinski,Allen,Callejon
 Strikers Striker: Mertens, Insigne 


Manager: Carlo Ancelotti 





Players to Watch


Roma’s Edin Dzeko




Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne 


Date: Saturday October 20th, 2018
Venue: Stadio San Paulo, Napoli 
Kickoff: 2:30PM (USA) 8:30PM (ENG), 9:30PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Itaila, ESPN+

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