HomeSerie ARoma bid to puncture Napoli's winning run

Roma bid to puncture Napoli’s winning run

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football – Europa League – Group C – AS Roma v Real Betis – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – October 6, 2022 AS Roma coach Jose Mourinho REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

(Reuters) – AS Roma host seemingly invincible Serie A leaders Napoli on Sunday and the odds seem to be stacked against Jose Mourinho’s side as they look to end their opponents’ unbeaten league run since the start of the season.

Napoli, first in the table with 26 points after 10 games, are on a 10-game winning streak in all competitions. Roma on the other hand are fourth with 22 points and have won just one of their last eight league matches against the table toppers.

Moreover, Roma will be without the services of Argentinian striker Paulo Dybala, their top scorer with five goals in eight league games, after he suffered a hamstring injury in their 2-1 home win over Lecce earlier this month.

Roma’s neighbours Lazio will also be without the services of key striker Ciro Immobile — who has finished Serie A’s top scorer three times, most recently last season — as Maurizio Sarri’s side travel to second-placed Atalanta on Sunday.

The 32-year-old Italy international will likely be out of action due to a hamstring injury until 2023.

Atalanta, like Napoli, are on a 10-match unbeaten run from the start of the season, a club record. However, manager Gian Piero Gasperini downplayed the possibility that the Bergamo-based side could be in the running for the Serie A title.

“We, with our resources, cannot say that we will fight for the Scudetto,” Gasperini told RadioRai.

Champions AC Milan, who are third in Serie A and trail Napoli by three points, will likely welcome back Charles de Ketelaere and Simon Kjaer from injury on Saturday.

There was good news on the injury front for seventh-placed Inter Milan as key striker Romelu Lukaku could be available for coach Simone Inzaghi for Saturday’s clash at 13th-placed Fiorentina.

Injuries however continue to blight Juventus, who host Empoli on Friday. Defender Gleison Bremer will be sidelined with a hamstring injury for about three weeks as manager Massimiliano Allegri tries to climb the table from eighth place.

(Reporting by Tommy Lund, additional reporting by Silvia Recchimuzzi in Gdansk; Editing by Toby Davis)