Thursday October 17 2013
Garcia puts pressure on Napoli

Roma boss Rudi Garcia thinks his League leaders will be the underdogs going into Friday’s game against Napoli.

The Giallorossi, who have a 100 per cent record in the League this season, will entertain the second-placed Azzurri.

“I'm not forgetting that Napoli were built to win the Scudetto and to play in the Champions League,” the Frenchman noted.

“This means they almost have two teams at the same level. I still think they start as favourites, but we'll try to pull it off.”

Napoli boss Rafael Benitez has played down the significance of the tie and Garcia has similar views.

“Tomorrow will be a great match, but we're only in Week 8 and there's nothing at stake besides three points,” he explained.

“We will always play to win, be it at home or away. We're not bothered about the opponents in front of us. Of course, it all comes down to the match itself and we'll see what happens on the field tomorrow.

“It would be very significant to keep the unbeaten streak going. This winning run helps the team and players to keep going.”

No team in Italy has ever failed to win the Scudetto after winning their first eight games of the campaign.

“I'm not thinking about that. This is a question to try and get me talking about the Scudetto.

“Let's look at La Liga: Atletico Madrid are 8 and 0, yet we can't call them favourites because Barcelona has the same number of points and the Blaugrana are still the favourites, alongside Real Madrid.

“We'll see further down the line – our aim could be to come down the stretch with other teams at the top of the standings at the end of the season.”

Garcia added that he does have some decisions to make with regards to the starting XI.

“Kevin Strootman has a slight issue with his heel and Gervinho also has a knock, but we'll have time to make a decision on that tomorrow.

“There are a number of players available for selection. Adem Ljajic, for example, has had a great week and is a forward who can make the difference.

“I always prefer to have a selection headache, than not have any choice at all.” 

Squad: Benatia, Bradley, Borriello, Burdisso, Caprari, Castan, De Rossi, De Sanctis, Dodò, Florenzi, Gervinho, Ljajic, Lobont, Maicon, Marquinho, Pjanic, Ricci, Romagnoli, Skorupski, Strootman, Taddei, Torosidis, Totti.