Roma v Napoli
Sunday, 14:00
As the race for Champions League places hots up, all eyes will be on San Siro on Sunday night when Inter welcome Lazio, bringing back memories of what was effectively a playoff for the last top-four spot on 2017-18's final day. Inter came from behind to win and snatch the place from Simone Inzaghi's team.
Yet by then, Roma will already have played Napoli in the capital, arguably the pick of the weekend's games. Rarely have a club - and a set of players - more needed the time to reflect and take stock given to them by the international break than Roma's. Edin Dzeko took the opportunity to publicly bury the hatchet with Stephan El Shaarawy, following the pair's dressing room spat in the recent defeat at SPAL, for which the Bosnian veteran was reportedly fined.

Ranieri holding the fort

That should only be the start of pulling the Giallorossi out of the mire. Successive away defeats have cost them; firstly to Lazio, 3-0 in the derby, and the reverse last time out at SPAL was arguably every bit as humiliating. With ten games left and a four-point deficit to Milan in fourth place, it's not quite do-or-die for Roma yet. What they do need to do, however, is quickly stop a tricky situation becoming an unmanageable one. They are 3.20 to get back on track with a win on Sunday.
They will do so with a coach who, in all likelihood, won't be there next season. Premier League fans may think Claudio Ranieri has landed on his feet in going from being turfed out of doomed Fulham to contesting a Champions League spot in the Italian capital. There's more to it than that, though.

Ancelotti still with work to do

It's not just that Ranieri came agonisingly close to winning the Scudetto back in 2010, which would have denied José Mourinho's Inter their famous treble. It's that he's coming home, back to the city of his birth, seen as a steady hand to guide Roma through a turbulent period, following the exits of coach Eusebio Di Francesco and sporting director Monchi, as a man who already knows the club inside out.
While Napoli, in second and seven points clear of third-placed Inter, are nailed on for a top-four finish, they have plenty to prove themselves. The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti split opinion, with some delighted that president Aurelio Di Laurentiis was able to attract such a big name to San Paolo and others concerned by Ancelotti's spell at Bayern Munich, with the drop of intensity from the Pep Guardiola reign something that easily have happened at Napoli post-Maurizio Sarri.

Carlo returning to Olimpico in the role of favourite

For now, Ancelotti's reign has been neither feast nor famine. Napoli are an enormous 15 points behind Juventus (though the champions have been faultless), though look to have an extra layer of knowhow in Europe with Ancelotti and are 5.40 second favourites for the Europa League, behind Chelsea, ahead of their tie with Arsenal.

After eight years of sterling service as a Roma player in the '70s and '80s, Ancelotti's role here might be of ghost at the feast. Napoli are dangerous on the road and can play with freedom - they are 2.38 favourites here - and Roma need a huge upturn in recent performances to get what they need - and boy, do they need it.

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