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Oje vita mia...
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Serie A Week 1 - 31/8/08 (14.00 UK)
Roma - Napoli
Stadio Olimpico

The 124th Derby del Sole is as hotly anticipated as any in recent history. The rivalry between Roma and Napoli came to the boil in the `80s and after several tepid years it’s back to its bubbling best. Last season’s corresponding fixture was arguably the game of 2007-08. It ended 4-4. Put simply it had everything.

Everything, that is, except a Naples audience. The match was played behind closed doors for the away fans at the wishes of the authorities, but that won’t be the case this season. The Analytical Committee for the Security of Sporting Manifestations has given Roma and Napoli the all clear to sell tickets for Sunday’s encounter as an “injection of trust in clubs and fans that truly love football.”

That’s encouraging for calcio as is the resurgence of Italy’s two best-supported teams outside of the North. The Giallorossi are once again challenging for the Scudetto while the Partenopei hope to break into Serie A’s top four for the first time in 16 years. This weekend’s game will give a strong indication as to which of the two teams is best prepared to realise their respective goals.

In the short-term Roma will be looking to record their first competitive victory since President Franco Sensi passed away last week. The Lupi have experienced a rough pre-season and failed, despite a courageous performance, to retain the Italian Super Cup at the weekend.

Coach Luciano Spalletti used the summer months to experiment with a 4-1-4-1 formation, but will almost certainly stick with the 4-2-3-1 system, which has brought the club so much success in recent years. Francesco Totti is expected to shake off a calf strain sustained during the Super Cup while new signing Julio Baptista is likely to play either on the left or behind the Giallorossi captain.

Napoli go into the new season full of confidence after an ambitious summer in the transfer market and victory in the Intertoto Cup. The Partenopei are in action on Thursday in the second preliminary round of the UEFA Cup, but Coach Edy Reja insists Napoli will be ready come Sunday. Olympic gold medalist Ezequiel Lavezzi will be thrown into the side barely a week after returning from Beijing yet the Argentine striker can’t wait to form a partnership with compatriot and new arrival German Gustavo Denis.

Keep an eye on: German Gustavo Denis (Napoli) – Nicknamed the “Tank” because of his stature and ability to break through defences, 27-year-old Denis has already endeared himself to the Napoli faithful after scoring a string of goals in pre-season.
 

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Honorable Mention, October Photo Contest 2008
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good result where many teams will fall this season, shame about the uefa draw though, cant really see you getting through unfortunately
 

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Really impressed with Gargano and Lavezzi in the second half, they totally bossed Roma around.
 

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Napoli is a serious team this year. Maybe too early for CL talk, but they will be up there.
 

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Don´t you think that Denis header would finish in net if Hamsik wouldn´t hit the ball towards the bar ?
 

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maybe but was a goal anyway, Denis will score for sure sooner or later, you have many little annoying skill fellas, he will take profit of it...what should be a goal was Lavezzi's play...

I thought you were going to get Mauro, a very Napolitan sort of player, you could be a very entertaining side with him too...
 

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cant really see you getting through unfortunately
I always respected Benfica as a one of the biggest teams in the World. Great past, less succesful present times while being overshadowed by reigning Champ FC Porto.

Tbh they didn´t impress me much vs Nuremberg this year although they advanced.

Estadio Da Luz is Beauty, have been there 3 years ago (POR-SVK game).
 

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Oje vita mia...
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Discussion Starter #13
good result where many teams will fall this season, shame about the uefa draw though, cant really see you getting through unfortunately
Only time will tell. Sure we're the underdogs, but in our stadium you have to sweat nonstop to win. If we're healthy, and I think we're already peaking, we can do it. I only wish for Marino to get us a true left winger and maybe another defensive player...there's still time to get a good rhythm going between Denis and Lavezzi. If not, Zalayeta should be 100% by then and Russotto is waiting in the wings for a possible trident attack. :musik:

Thanks to the other supporters for the kind words, I like this site because it seems to have quality posters such as yourselves. :thumbsup:
 

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Fair result for both teams as we both ate sure goals. Lavezzi showed why he is one of the best talents in italy. I can't wait for Mannini to come back. Vitale is way too green to be playing such a role
 

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i agree vitale didnt look good enough, but lavezzi - denis combination is going to cause some upsets im sure. and gargano was awesome in his distrbution, him paired with hamsik....:drool:
 

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both teams had chances to win the match but couldn't finish . Good result for Napoli they showed some class and looked good , best of luck for the rest of the season .
 
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