Scudetto rivals meet in Rome on Friday night.
All eyes in Italy are on the Derby del Sole this weekend, as Roma host fellow Scudetto contenders Napoli at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday night.
The two title rivals have set the early pace, but it is the hosts who have undoubtedly been the more impressive of the two having won all seven of their league fixtures thus far.
Rudi Garcia has constructed a talented squad despite the departures of the likes of Marquinhos, Erik Lamela and Pablo Osvaldo this summer, but perhaps most important to the club is their new-found solidity in defence.
The Giallorossi have scored 20 goals so far this season, but the more impressive statistic is that they have only conceded one goal. With Morgan De Sanctis, Maicon and Mehdi Benatia all arriving this summer, the club has finally addressed a problem area.
With Luciano Spalletti and Zdenek Zeman playing their part in recent years in establishing Roma as a club which plays some of the more expansive and entertaining football in Italy, the need for defensive solidity has been lacking for some time.
However, Garcia finally appears to have struck the right balance and can also boast some of the most talented and creative attacking players in Serie A.
Nevertheless, he will be fully aware of the task that awaits him on Friday night, with Napoli making the short trip to Rome to put a dent in their title aspirations despite claims that their objective still remains a top-three finish.
Rafa Benitez has been similarly impressive in the short time he has been in charge, although the setback against Arsenal in the Champions League would have been a blow.
In terms of domestic form, the Partenopei have six wins and a draw to start the campaign, and they appear set to deliver on their pre-season tag of being genuine title contenders.
Losing Edinson Cavani has arguably been a blessing in disguise as they have improved the standard of the overall squad. With Gonzalo Higuain expected to return from injury in time for Friday’s showdown, they will be confident of causing an ‘upset’.
Much has been made of the competitiveness of Serie A this year, and these two clubs are undoubtedly set to put on a show and send a clear signal to their rivals that they are ready for the challenge ahead.