Napoli, like the rest of Serie A, have been unable to break Juventus’ dominance of Italian football.
I Bianconeri have won the Italian top flight for the last six seasons on the bounce, including their narrow triumph by four points ahead of Roma in the last campaign.
However, Napoli have come out of the traps extremely well, winning their opening seven matches on the spin to put Massimiliano Allegri’s men under pressure.
Maurizio Sarri’s team have been on form at both ends of the pitch, handing them the early initiative in the title race, but will need to maintain their form throughout the term to knock off Juve.
Juventus are still considered the leading contender for the crown, but Napoli are backed in the latest Serie A betting odds at 11/8 to win the title for the first time since the 1989/90 campaign.
Partenopei Gli Azzurri have been outstanding in the final third to start the season, averaging over three goals a game. The club have scored 25 goals in their opening seven matches, with seven of the strikes coming through the boot of Dries Mertens.
Mertens has been a frustrating player during his career, but the 30-year-old came to life last season, producing his best football. He scored 28 goals in 33 appearances and has carried that level of form into the early stages of the new campaign, including a hat-trick against Benevento.
Following the departure of Gonzalo Higuain to Juve – the Belgian has put his hand up to take the mantle of leading marksmen for Partenopei Gli Azzurri. Their title charge will hinge on whether he will be able to sustain his goalscoring prowess throughout the season.
Support has to come from Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne and both players have performed well at the start of the term. The duo need to continue to find their peak form as Arkadiusz Milik could be sidelined once again for a considerable period due to problems in his recovery from a knee injury.Defensively, Napoli have also made a bright start, with Kalidou Koulibaly starring in the heart of the backline. Partenopei Gli Azzurri have fended off attempts from several clubs for his signature and the 26-year-old has remained committed to the team.
He has been a rock at the back for Sarri’s men and has also notched two strikes in his opening seven appearances. Napoli have decent depth in their defence, with Raul Albiol and Vlad Chiriches splitting time alongside the Senegal international.
They’ve kept three clean sheets thus far and shipped only one goal in their 4-1 hammering of Lazio on the road. That performance alone should give Sarri and his team an abundance of confidence for the rest of the season, defeating a side that finished only two places below them last term with ease.
Greater challenges lie ahead against Juventus, Roma and Inter Milan – with those matches dictating whether Napoli will be able to end their 28-year wait for the Serie A crown.
Partenopei Gli Azzurri have the talent to make the breakthrough, but must rise to the occasion to topple Juve at the summit of Italian football.