Italy Coach Cesare Prandelli feels Napoli are still in the Scudetto race, reassures Juventus and hopes to have Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli back.
The Azzurri boss gave a lengthy interview to Sky Sport Italia, casting his eye over the current Serie A scene.
“The Scudetto is a three-horse race between Milan, Inter and Napoli. The Azzurri are still in there because they now represent a genuine team with organised tactics and I'm sure they'll be able to offer excellent performances right to the end of the season.
“In fact, I think Walter Mazzarri is the best Coach in Serie A right now. He deserves credit for giving consistency and a playing style to this side, regardless of the individuals who take to the field. Napoli are today an important reality of Italian football.”
However, Juventus are out of the title race and might not even qualify for Europe after another disastrous campaign.
“Everyone agreed this would be a transitional year to build the team so it would be ready for victory in future,” noted Prandelli.
“Juventus are a serious club represented by great people who will be able to evaluate all the technical and behavioural aspects.”
The Italy Coach looks to the next generation of stars in his squad, even if injury and behavioural issues have meant he has struggled to see them in action.
“I would love to finally see Cassano and Balotelli together. I say that in hushed tones, as every time I try to make it happen, something goes wrong. I hope from the next game this project can come together.
“Another player who represents the future, for many reasons, is Andrea Ranocchia. He proved remarkable inner calm and that humility that can take him on to great things.
“He hasn't played much, but already highlighted his quality. He can be a real reference point to the lads who dream of wearing the Italy shirt.”