High-flying Roma will be forced to look their Scudetto dreams square in the eye when second-placed Napoli come to Stadio Olimpico, where their tendency to move through the gears mid-game makes the 9/2 about the draw/Roma win bet in the half-time/full-time market the one to be on.
The league leaders are 11/10 for a breathing-space creating success, with their closest pursuers 23/10 for victory and the draw 12/5.
Roma have scored 20 goals and conceded just once in seven Serie outings.
The Giallorossi have finally allied the attacking creativity of the Zdenek Zeman era with a rigid defence under new broom Rudi Garcia and the rewards have been bountiful, with the side boasting a perfect record after seven games.
It’s their strong defence which is fancied to give them the edge over Napoli in what should be a cagey affair in the first period.
Three of the visitors’ four league goals conceded this season have come away from home and given the Azzurri were beaten in their last clash with the Romans back in May they may not be overly looking forward to this trip.
Meanwhile the departed Edinson Cavani was responsible for four of their five goals against Roma last season, a reason to have extra confidence in Garcia’s backline.
The hosts have gone in to the break level in four of their seven games this term.
On each occasion the scorers could have been given the first-half off with those matches all 0-0 at half-time.
Such a record of soporific starts makes the 11/5 about the 0-0 first-half correct score a worthy favourite in that market.
Perhaps the civilised ritual of a half-time espresso has much to do with Roma’s blistering form as 15 of their 20 Serie A strikes this season have come after the break.
Napoli have scored just once in the first 45 minutes in their last three away games.
The Neapolitans have struggled to impose themselves early on the road all season long and they’ve been ahead at the mid-way stage in just one of their four matches away from San Paolo in all competitions.