Thursday, August 22, 2013

Juventus are favorites, but Napoli are in with a shout

I wasn’t surprised when Rafa Benitez took the Napoli job – he loves taking over teams that are already very good.

Napoli finished second in Serie A to Juventus last season, their best finish since they won the Scudetto in 1989-90. Edinson Cavani was the league’s top scorer with 29, although he was sold to Paris St. Germain for big bucks. They have already used the money to Gonzalo Higuain, and Pepe Reina on loan. They join Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon from Real Madrid, and Dries Mertens from PSV.

Probably not since Maradona and Careca, or maybe Zola and Ciro Ferrara have Napoli been so good. Bankruptcy in 2004, and subsequent relegation to Serie C1 meant S.S.C. Napoli were in real threat of folding, but film producer Aurelio De Laurentiis seems to have put them back on the path to success.

Then there's AC Milan who have Mario Balotelli - an no-one knows how that's going to go. Inter still have Walter Samuel - and we all know how that's going to go.

But Juventus are still winning the league – adding Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente makes them by far the stand out team (which they were already). Andrea Pirlo is still mustard, and just can't see anyone even really competing with I Bianconeri.