Ham­sik eyes Maradona’s record as Napoli visit Roma, Ju­ven­tus plot Lazio re­venge

Bangkok Post - - FOOTBALL -

>> MI­LAN: Napoli cap­tain Marek Ham­sik will have a chance to equal Diego Maradona’s scor­ing record for the club and put Slo­vakia’s painful World Cup elim­i­na­tion be­hind him when they visit AS Roma in Serie A to­day.

Napoli lead Serie A with a max­i­mum 21 points, and have blasted 25 goals in the process, af­ter win­ning their first seven games but to­day’s match at the Sta­dio Olimpico will be by far their sternest test so far.

Apart from the im­pres­sive 4-1 win at Lazio, Napoli have only faced teams who would nor­mally ex­pect to fin­ish in the mid­dle or lower half of the ta­ble — Verona, Ata­lanta, Bologna, Ben­evento, SPAL and Cagliari.

Roma them­selves have won five of their six league matches, in­clud­ing an im­pres­sive 2-0 win at AC Mi­lan in their last out­ing, mak­ing the fix­ture the high­light of a week­end which also fea­tures the first Mi­lan derby of the sea­son.

The 30-year-old Ham­sik has scored 114 com­pet­i­tive goals dur­ing that time — one short of Maradona’s to­tal dur­ing his seven-year spell be­tween 1984 and 1991 which saw Napoli win their only two ti­tles.

“Seven vic­to­ries in seven matches is some­thing in­cred­i­ble,” Ham­sik said. “This is the strong­est and nicest team in which I have played be­cause we are aware of our strengths and that we can fight for the ti­tle un­til the end.”

Ju­ven­tus, joint sec­ond, host fourth-placed Lazio, who sur­pris­ingly beat them 3-2 in the sea­sonopen­ing Su­per­cup match.

The week­end fin­ishes with Inter, level with Ju­ven­tus on 19 points, meet­ing AC Mi­lan at the San Siro.

De­spite spend­ing more than €200 million (8 bil­lion baht) on new sign­ings in the trans­fer win­dow, Mi­lan have lost three times al­ready and another de­feat could send them into cri­sis mode.

FIXTURES

(kick-offs 8pm, Thai time, un­less stated) To­day Ju­ven­tus v Lazio (11pm), Roma v Napoli (1.45am, Sun)

To­mor­row Fiorentina v Udi­nese (5.30pm); Bologna v SPAL; Cro­tone v Torino; Sam­p­do­ria v Ata­lanta; Cagliari v Genoa; Sas­suolo v Chievo; Inter Mi­lan v AC Mi­lan (1.45am)

Mon­day

Verona v Ben­evento (1.45am, Tue)

Napoli mid­fielder Marek Ham­sik.

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