SCOTT PETERSON - Saturday, January 5, 2013
Big match time for Michael Bradley and AS Roma as the Giallorossi start the New Year off on the road versus fourth place Napoli.
Bradley will be hoping to parlay his strong individual performances at the end of 2012 into team success, European soccer and, perhaps, hardware.
To achieve such lofty aspirations, Roma will need to pick up points against stout opponents in tough environments. They don't come much tougher than the Stadio San Paolo in Naples, where Napoli is 6-2-2 and have scored 21 times.
The Neapolitan offense is spearheaded by the two-headed attack of Edinson Cavani and Marek Hamsik. The Uruguayan and Slovenian have combined for 20 goals, 13 for Cavani, and Hamsik has played helper seven times, good for second in the league.
Sunday's match pits two of the league's finest against each other as Napoli is in fifth place, while Roma enter the contest two points back with 32 on the year.
After completing a five-day training session in Orlando during the brief Italian winter break, Roma enters the first contest of 2013 relatively healthy as the only concerns for head coach Zdenek Zeman are the lingering effects of the flu for Francesco Totti and Paolo Osvaldo.
Kickoff is set for Sunday night at 8:45 local time in Naples.