Next Game

Genoa v Napoli

Sunday, 31 August 2014, 19:45

Serie A

San Mames

Last Game

Ath Bilbao 3 - 1 Napoli

Wednesday, 27 August 2014, 19:45

Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs Round

Benitez: Roma are favourites

Rafael Benitez expects Roma to have the upper hand when his Napoli side visit the Italian capital in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg.

Last Updated: 04/02/14 at 14:50 Post Comment

Rafael Benitez: Thinks Roma are favourites

Rafael Benitez: Thinks Roma are favourites

The Naples side go into the match at the Stadio Olimpico on the back of Saturday's 3-0 defeat at Atalanta.

Roma, meanwhile, are fully rested after their home match against Parma at the weekend was abandoned after just eight minutes because of a waterlogged pitch.

"I believe Roma are favourites because they have not played at the weekend," Benitez said in Tuesday's press conference. "It's not an excuse, it's the truth."

Benitez has demanded an improved performance from his players at Roma.

The Azzurri endured one of their worst defeats in Serie A this season in Bergamo, a reverse that extended Napoli's winless run to three league games.

"We made a lot of individual mistakes against Atalanta, which is unusual," Benitez said. "However, we didn't play well and I expect a better performance at Roma."

Gonzalo Higuain, Marek Hamsik and Lorenzo Insigne are all expected to start having been benched against Atalanta.

Napoli lost 2-0 at Roma in the league earlier this season but Benitez remains optimistic his side can surprise the Giallorossi in Rome.

"We played well against them back in October," he said. "In that game we had chances to score but we didn't make the most of them.

"My team is calm and charged up for tomorrow's match, knowing that we will also have the return leg (February 12) to look forward to."

Rivals Roma are second in the standings, six points clear of third-place Napoli and have a game in hand.

The Giallorossi, who were runners-up in the Coppa Italia last season, want to take a giant step towards a final spot on Wednesday.

"We want to get the job done tomorrow," Roma coach Rudi Garcia said. "But we are aware that the semi-final is not just one game but 180 minutes and we will also have to play at Napoli.

"It will be great to go to Naples with a good result.

"The fact that we didn't play at the weekend could be an advantage but we will only know that after tomorrow's match."

Garcia is expected to bench striker Alessandro Florenzi and captain Francesco Totti against Napoli in view of Sunday's city derby against Lazio, with Adem Ljajic set to lead Roma's attack.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Premier League: Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin in plea after thwarted move

Morgan Schneiderlin has appealed to Southampton fans after a thwarted attempt to leave St Mary's.

Premier League: Chelsea hit Everton for six in nine-goal Goodison Park thriller

Chelsea hit Everton for six in a goal-filled Premier League extravaganza at Goodison Park which finally ended 6-3.

Transfer news: Leicester sign QPR full-back Danny Simpson

Leicester City have signed full-back Danny Simpson from Queens Park Rangers for an undisclosed fee.

Mail Box

Surely A Spurs Fan Should Remember...

...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property