Napoli might just have an unprecedented chance to challenge both Inter and AC Milan for the Scudetto this season, more so as they collected three points at Venice last weekend while the champions and leaders lost in the Derby della Madonnina.
The Partenopei now have a chance at getting back to the top of the table as they host Inter next weekend with a point separating them. Napoli’s next weeks are anything but easy, facing Barcelona, Lazio and Milan in less than a month after hosting the champions.
“Yes, there are moments that come, like the perfect storm, that seem more difficult, but any scenario for us… It must not change anything,” said Luciano Spalletti.
“Napoli must do Napoli, which is to try to win every game. It would be essential to have a number of players to have all these matches so close together, but by now this is the normality and we must stop emphasising that we play a lot because it is no longer an exception.
“You have to go out on the pitch with the happiness of playing all the time, trying to win them all.”
Questions must be raised as to how ready and prepared the Paretnopei are as they head towards this particularly tough run. Spalletti’s men will have headed back to Naples with spirits high after a hard-fought victory at Venice. One that celebrates the return of a familiar face and a certain assuring confidence as to what lies ahead. Welcoming Victor Osimhen back was another boost.
“It feels good to play from the first minute, I trained well this week and, of course, I am really happy with the performance from the whole team and my goal,” Osimhen said.
The Nigerian was delighted to make his first start since November and he marked it with a goal. The forward’s return will be, to say the least, a major boost. He had five goals in eight starts ahead of his injury and will be impatient to return to his productive form.
Another positive is that defender Kalidou Koulibably is set to return from Cameroon after making history with Senegal, winning the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time, making him Senegal’s first-ever AFCON-winning captain. Alongside him with an imminent return is Cameroon midfielder Andre Franck Zambo Anguissa.
To add to that, Napoli haven’t lost a Serie A game in the new year, scoring ten goals and conceding two.
Last time Napoli and Inter faced off, the Nerazzurri won in dramatic fashion. However, with what looks like a more complete and fit squad, the Neapolitans might just have a valid shot at glory.