Serie A’s top two meet on Friday when Napoli visits the Stadio Olimpico to take on league leader AS Roma. While neither coach would describe the game as a title decider, a loss for either team would represent the first of the season for both clubs.
“If we collect three points at Roma then we won’t definitely win the Scudetto. If we don’t win then we will just continue trying to get better,” Napoli coach Rafael Benitez said. “I’ve always said that we are working to improve. We are still only at 75 per cent, I’m very satisfied.”
Roma coach Rudy Garcia reiterated that nothing would be decided this early in the season. “Tomorrow will be a great match, but we're only in Week 8 and there's nothing at stake besides three points,” Garcia said, adding that despite Roma’s perfect record, Napoli is still the favorite. “I'm not forgetting that Napoli were built to win the Scudetto and to play in the Champions League,” the Frenchman said. “This means they almost have two teams at the same level. I still think they start as favorites, but we'll try to pull it off.”
Benitez, meanwhile, noted that both sides tend to use similar tactics. “Roma are a fantastic pressing side and their organization leaves little space for their opponents,” he said. “It is no coincidence that they concede few goals. They counter well, but so do we. I don’t think Roma will change anything to the way they play. They defend as a team and don’t man mark. They are good at the defensive phase and we just need to find the right space.”