Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Derby of the Sun

Napoli take on Roma in Serie A today, with the Giallorossi look to reignite their title challenge whilst putting defeat against Panathinaikos in the Europa League behind them. Napoli however, have plans of their own. The Southerners are looking to climb back up to fourth in the league and that crucial Champions League spot.

It’s been a remarkable season for both teams. To begin with, Napoli were struggling under the stewardship of Roberto Donadoni, however Walter Mazzarri came in and has revived the club and now the sit in 5th place just a point off 4th. Players such as Hamsik, Lavezzi, Quagliarella, and the ever-present Paolo Cannavaro have spearheaded these events.

Roma, will look to the potent attacking trio of Mirko Vucinic, Luca Toni to bring them glory. However, they also have a good strength in depth now. Sergio is performing well in goals, and Mexes and Juan are solid at the back. John Arne Risse has found some of his old Liverpool form and Marco Motta is showing why Marcelo Lippi should take him to the world cup. In midfield David Pizarro and De Rossi boss the midfield and allow the opposition little room to play. What Ranieri has done is mould players which were struggling to find form under Luciano Spalletti’s later days into a team which fights for each other, and instilled in them a belief that they can win, no matter what.

If Napoli can clinch victory today, Mazzarri would surely be up there for manager of the season. No-one could have predicted such a change in circumstances for this club. Wallowing near the bottom of Serie A, to rise up to possibly clinch a place in Europe’s top competition; perhaps the club’s owner will make a film about this!

So when both teams step out in the San Paolo this afternoon, they will be doing so aiming for the same thing; three vital points.

Ryan Ross

I became enthralled with Calcio back in the 90’s, when James Richardson presented Football Italia. My early mornings were spent following the trials and tribulations of Internazionale, during a period where they always flattered to deceive. It took a Frenchman to get me hooked though; Youri Djorkaeff, my favourite player of all time. This guy was key to Inter’s midfield, never mind his role in France’s World Cup win in 1998! I have a keen interest in Calcio’s rich history.

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