Walter Mazzarri refuses to set Napoli apart as Scudetto contenders and notes Goran Pandev “has the priority” ahead of Lorenzo Insigne against Parma.
The Partenopei have won their first two Serie A games of the season and could mount a serious title challenge to Juventus.
“If it were up to me, of course I’d love to top the table with a 10-point advantage, but I cannot say that it’d be a failure if we didn’t finish second. It’s one thing to hope and another to make a prediction,” mused the Coach.
“I would like to ask the media a question: how do they decide who are favourites and who aren’t? Lazio have experienced players in attack, so what is the difference between them and us?
“I get fired up when the bar is raised, but I’d like an explanation for what they base their judgements on. Look at Roma, who have a mix of experience and youth and signed great players like Federico Balzaretti.”
Napoli beat Palermo and Fiorentina, but now welcome back Pandev from his two-match ban to provide competition for Italy starlet Insigne.
“Both of them played internationals this week. Goran’s 180 minutes on the field for Macedonia did his fitness levels good, but I try to make the right choices based on what I see on the pitch. Pandev has the priority.
“Often the media go crazy over a player and then bury them again straight away. I always try to use the best at my disposal in every game.
“Parma have always caused us problems at the San Paolo and tended to mark a negative downswing in our campaign. Plus they had two weeks to rest, as not many of their players were on international duty.
“I am anxious ahead of this game because I haven’t been able to run many tests. Everyone studies us and our systems, so I still try to do something different.”
Miguel Angel Britos is out of action after picking up a muscular injury during training, but more tests are needed to ascertain the extent of the damage.
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.