Coppa Italia winner Trevor Francis previews Napoli v AS Roma
Roma can out-gun Rafa Benitez's Napoli to secure a place in the Coppa Italia final, says Trevor Francis.
Last Updated: 12/02/14 7:26am
Napoli welcome AS Roma for the second leg of their semi-final on Wednesday night having fought back in last week's electrifying 3-2 defeat in Rome and more goals are expected with a spot in the Coppa Italia final up for grabs.
Read on to see what Trevor is expecting at the Stadio San Paolo...
TREVOR SAYS: The first leg of this encounter was the highlight of this competition. The goals were excellent but it wasn't just the strikes.
This is the second and third best teams from the league and they just produced some wonderful all-round play. Many people will wonder whether I am actually talking about Italian football!
Roma raced into a 2-0 lead and you thought the tie was over. The response from Napoli was excellent. Rafa Benitez clearly saw that game as an opportunity to go to the Olympic Stadium and score.
He opted for a very attacking line-up and made his intentions clear. And that's what they did; they scored twice in the second half. They'll be bitterly disappointed they didn't get a draw. As in the quarter-final, Gervinho scored very late for Roma and it could turn out to be a very important goal.
This tie is finely balanced but Benitez won't play cautiously in the second leg. Napoli will go into this game believing their home form can play a huge part in getting them into the final - because they are formidable at the Stadio San Paolo.
And don't forget, Napoli's ground is a place where they've recently beaten Marseille, Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal. Roma will know how difficult it's going to be but they have players who can score.
Gervinho is in good form and they've had a very good season considering they were outside the European places last season. The improvement under coach Rudi Garcia has been excellent.
Looking at the number of points they've already got, that would normally be enough. They would be top if it wasn't for Juve's consistency. They don't rely on a particular goal scorer though.
There isn't one Roma player in the top 20 of goalscorers. They have Kevin Strootman, Gervinho and Francesco Totti scoring and Mehdi Benatia is always a big threat on set pieces but this distribution of goals emphasises this is a team not dependent on individuals.
I have stuck with Roma all the way since the beginning of the tournament. They got to the final last year and lost narrowly to arch rivals Lazio. This will give them the added incentive to come back and win it.