Roma are reunited with a former coach as they take on Luciano Spalletti’s high-flying Napoli on Sunday.
After consecutive defeats for Jose Mourinho’s side to Juventus and Bodo/Glimt – the latter by an embarrassing scoreline – Roma are aiming to get back on track. However, they could not ask for much of a tougher challenge on current form.
Spalletti, who guided Roma to a record points total in 2016-17, has won all eight of his Serie A matches since taking charge of Napoli in the summer. There already appears to be a difference between the expectations of both sides this season.
That said, Roma are trying to improve their record against direct rivals, which was poor under Paulo Fonseca and is yet to change in the early days of Mourinho’s reign. This is a long-term process, but that all-important first win against another of the seven sisters must come from somewhere.
Roma’s last win over their Derby Del Sole rivals came in November 2019, with three defeats coming since. Fans will feel like it is time to restore some pride, but all must acknowledge the contrasting fortunes of either side in this moment.
Nevertheless, Mourinho will be sending out a side to win. After being underwhelmed by some of his squad players on Thursday – and making no secret of it – he will revert to his preferred starters for this encounter.
In fact, he went as far as confirming the lineup would be exactly the same as the one that lost to Juventus last weekend.
The game kicks off at 5pm UK time and will be live on BT Sport 2.