Roma Women v Napoli preview: First Serie A game of 2021

Roma Women will be looking to build on the promise they have shown in recent weeks when they host Napoli on Sunday.

The New Year has started in positive fashion for Roma, who took Juventus to extra time in the Supercoppa Italiana before recording their biggest ever win by thrashing Roma CF in the Coppa Italia.

Now, the focus returns to Serie A for the first time in over a month. Roma are looking for a first win in the league since October, so will be hoping their recent upturn in form is not fleeting.

As they return to Stadio Tre Fontane for the first time since December, Roma welcome a Napoli side they have never played before.

Napoli won promotion from Serie B thanks to a points-per-game formula last season. Ahead of their return to the top flight, they added former Roma defender Federica Di Criscio to their squad, and she has proven to be one of their key players.

Roma know all about Di Criscio’s strengths, but will also be coming up against some less familiar opponents. Hopefully, their preparation will have been spot on.

There could be a debut for new signing Elena Linari in defence, after the Italy international joined in midweek. As coach Betty Bavagnoli has affirmed, Roma are already strong in that department, but Linari can add something extra.

Tecla Pettenuzzo returns to the squad after missing the cup game through injury, adding further strength in that area.

Behind the defence, Rachele Baldi will start in goal, as Camelia Ceasar is suspended. Baldi kept a clean sheet in her last appearance, but could be busier against Napoli, so will have to be on her guard.

Forward Agnese Bonfantini remains out with injury, so Lindsey Thomas could make her 25th start for the club. Paloma Lazaro and Annamaria Serturini should complete the attack in a repeat of the front three that faced Juventus.

Three of the young players who scored for Roma in the cup match against Roma CF – Alice Corelli, Serena Landa and Alessandra Massa – are all present in the squad again. So too is Elena Battistini, who made her debut in that game.

Bavagnoli will likely call on her more senior players again, though, as Roma look to make up for lost time upon the return of Serie A in 2021.

The match kicks off at 1:30pm UK time.

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