Fabio Cannavaro has claimed Lazio don’t have the “depth” to “keep up” with the top two and revealed he wouldn’t bet on his former club Napoli to beat Barcelona.
The former Juventus and Napoli defender has praised the current Lazio XI but feel Simone Inzaghi doesn’t have enough quality among his fringe players to keep up with both Inter and Juventus.
The Biancoceleste are preparing to face the Nerazzurri on Sunday, a match that Cannavaro claims would show Lazio “how far they can go”.
“They have a great finisher in Ciro Immobile and a very creative player in Luis Alberto,” Cannavaro told the Gazzetta dello Sport. “They also have a solid defence, that rarely suffer.
“But their squad is without the same depth as their competition and I don’t think they will be able to keep up the pace.
“The direct clash with Inter on Sunday will help Lazio realise how far they can go.”
His former team Napoli have replaced Carlo Ancelotti with his former Italy teammate Gennaro Gattuso and Cannavaro has admitted that the former Milan coach has a “complicated” task at the San Paolo.
“Rhino Gattuso is doing a great job,” he said. “But honestly, it’s complicated. He is trying to restore the intensity and long-lost rhythm with Carlo Ancelotti. I don’t know why.
“After 15 years, this is the first “failed” season with [President Aurelio] De Laurentiis. It can happen, no drama and you have to start over. The signings in January seem interesting to me.
Napoli are through to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will face Barcelona over two legs, but Cannavaro is not convinced.
“Let’s say the Azzurri can participate, but the Catalans remain favourites,” the former defender added. “At Barcelona, there’s a cycle that is about to end.
“But you have to be careful when there’s a player like [Lionel] Messi. He might score five goals in two games or contribute three assists like he did on Sunday against Sevilla, and then the crisis will overcome itself, just like many times before.
“I see a better opportunity for Atalanta against Valencia.”
Cannavaro has admitted that the experience at Barcelona could be decisive, but “always hopes” that Napoli win their games.
“I always hope the Azzurri win,” he said. “I am convinced that Rhino will prepare them in a good way, but the experience at that level will count a lot. The Blaugrana are at risk of losing the La Liga, but they can win the Champions League. In any case, it will be a great show at the San Paolo.”
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