Luciano Spalletti believes 'maturity' is one of the attributes that will likely define whether Roma can come out on top against Napoli on Saturday afternoon. The Giallorossi host Maurizio Sarri's side at the Stadio Olimpico in an early kick-off, looking to do the double on the Azzurri after beating them 3-1 at the Stadio San Paolo at the start of the campaign. However, Napoli will be looking for revenge for that defeat - and aiming to close the gap between the two sides in the table - and Spalletti knows the contest will be an even one.
“Tomorrow’s match is going to be tough – it’s a delicate one," Spalletti said. "We’ll need to be fully focused, put the effort in and show our quality. I’m sure the same goes for them. I think I’ve already said what I think of [Maurizio] Sarri and Napoli. We’re cut from the same cloth and we know when it’s time to send messages and when we need to focus on our own business. And right now we need to focus on ourselves".
“I think it’s correct to say that Napoli are a mature team too. Our players have proved that they’re mature and tomorrow we’ll need to show every bit of the maturity we’ve built up since we started working together last season. I expect us to make the right decisions when the time comes for us to dig in and I expect the team to defend in an orderly fashion and pick the right time to push on."
Spalletti also responded to suggestions that the team looked tired during the midweek defeat to Lazio in the first leg of the TIM Cup semi-finals, and Napoli may be able to take advantage of that having enjoyed an extra day's rest: “Of course, we have lots of matches at the moment and that uses up a lot of energy, but we’re not tired – we’re ready," he insisted. "We have just as good a chance in tomorrow’s game as Napoli do, even if they’ve had an extra day’s rest".
"We don’t want sympathy from anyone – that’s not what we’re about. We play on a level playing field against a strong side who’ll come at us with the same intentions.”