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Three things to watch during Serie A Matchday 11 as leaders Napoli face Jose Mourinho's Roma
Luciano Spalletti's league leaders make the trip to Rome looking to maintain their unbeaten start to the season and stay top of Serie A.
Serie A continues to prove itself as arguably the most interesting and open of Europe’s top five leagues, with a title race that could potentially involve several teams beginning to take shape.
As things stand, Luciano Spalletti’s impressive Napoli side lead the way, but Atalanta and Milan are not too far behind in second and third respectively.
Further down the table, Juventus are looking to repair a poor start to the season, while Roma and Lazio are quietly putting together strong runs of form.
There’s plenty to play for at both the top and the bottom in Serie A. Read on for the three storylines to look out for in the division on Sunday.
Can Mourinho’s Roma topple imperious Napoli?
Napoli have, without question, been the standout team in Serie A so far this season, and have captured the imagination in the Champions League, too.
Spalletti’s side are incisive and devastating in attack, scoring 25 goals in their opening ten league games.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, signed from Georgian side Dinamo Batumi, has been a revelation, with seven goals and six assists to his name in all competitions.
But this is not a team of individuals. Everything is functioning within Spalletti’s 4-3-3, a fluid system that has enabled the goals to be shared around amongst the likes of Giacomo Raspadori, Piotr Zielinski, Matteo Politano and Victor Osimhen.
Bologna gave the league leaders a scare at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona last weekend, but Napoli came from behind to win 3-2 and maintain their two-point gap at the summit.
Next up for I Partenopei, though, is a trip to the capital to face Jose Mourinho’s Roma, a game that will test their title credentials.
There is no doubt that the Special One will be relishing the prospect of knocking Napoli off their perch, of coming out on top in a high-profile match. And his side are on a run of three successive Serie A wins, only four points off top.
You can watch every minute of what promises to be one of the games of the weekend live on BT Sport 1 on Sunday at 7.45pm.
Unbeaten Atalanta take on Lazio
Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta once had a reputation as an unapologetically attacking, almost absurdly entertaining team.
In the 2019-20 Serie A season, they scored 98 goals and conceded 48, finishing third but earning admirers across the continent.
This season, though, we’ve seen a more mature iteration of Gasperini’s forward-thinking, attack-minded team.
The foundations are the same, but there is more control, less chaos. Atalanta, ten games into the season, have conceded just six goals and scored 16, but this more measured approach is clearly working.
The Bergamo-based outfit are just two points behind Napoli and are yet to lose a league game. They can’t be discounted as genuine title contenders this season.
Lazio, a point behind rivals Roma, have aspirations of their own. Maurizio Sarri’s side are on an unbeaten run of five games in Serie A, during which time they haven’t conceded a single goal.
Expect a tight but enthralling contest at Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia on Sunday afternoon.
Can Udinese keep up with the big boys?
The obvious outlier when looking at Serie A’s top eight is Udinese. They sit in sixth, between Inter and Lazio and only a point off the top four after a superb start to the season.
Andrea Sottil’s side have only lost once in ten games and held both Lazio and Atalanta to draws in their last two matches.
They beat Roma 4-0 last month and then saw off Inter with a 3-1 victory a couple of weeks later, and all of this after losing 4-2 to Milan on the opening day of the season.
Udinese clearly mean business, then, and don’t appear to be in a false position. With a home game against out of form Torino to come on Sunday lunchtime, their form could well be set to continue.