Sunday February 19 2012
Mazzarri: 'Napoli in better shape'

Walter Mazzarri concedes Napoli “are in better shape” than Chelsea right now, but won’t consider them the favourites.

The Partenopei appear to have overcome their crisis ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League first leg tie, while Andre Villas-Boas is at the centre of controversy.

“We went through a negative period, but that is something that every team has at times,” Mazzarri told Rai Sport.

“We kept conceding at the first opportunity, but now things are changing. Things go better for us, partly because we work on them during the week.

“Perhaps we are in better shape than Chelsea going into this game, but they have champions who are accustomed to playing a certain level of game.

“On Tuesday they know that they cannot make a mistake, so will become unified and I doubt we’ll be facing a team in crisis. Naturally, at this level you need a bit of luck too.”

There are some doubts, particularly as Hugo Campagnaro limped off during the 3-0 victory at Fiorentina.

“I don’t know if Campagnaro can make it, as we’ll perform some tests with the medical staff tomorrow. If he doesn’t, then Gianluca Grava has experience and quality, so he’ll be an ideal replacement. One of the younger lads might suffer in the atmosphere and feel the pressure.”

Mazzarri will not be on the bench due to a two-game touchline ban after he pushed Nilmar for timewasting during the 2-0 win over Villarreal.

“I always want to give all of myself to the team, so this is why I don’t like being away from them. I was not the one who behaved in an unsporting manner – it was Nilmar.”