Hamsik eyes Maradona’s record as Napoli visit Roma, Juventus plot Lazio revenge
>> 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.
(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)
Verona v Benevento (1.45am, Tue)
Napoli midfielder Marek Hamsik.