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Napoli and Juventus could win title, says Lippi

(Xinhua)

10:16, September 20, 2011


Italy's coach Marcello Lippi reacts during the 2010 World Cup Group F soccer match against Slovakia at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, June 24, 2010. Italy lost 2-3 and failed to progress to the next round. (Xinhua/Wang Yuguo)


ROME, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Former Italia coach Marcello Lippi tipped Napoli and Juventus to contend for the Scudetto.

"Napoli can win the Scudetto, even if they are superstitious and prefer not to talk about it," Lippi was quoted by Football Italia as saying.

"They are a fixture of Italian football that cannot be denied. When a team goes to Manchester City and plays with that style, then beats Milan 3-1 with such authority, you can't go back. My friend Walter Mazzarri must learn to live with the word 'Scudetto' following him around.

"Edinson Cavani is extraordinary and last night didn't allow the defenders to stop him scoring, as he hit them all first time. When you're faced with a striker who moves that quickly, there's little a defender can do."

Napoli are top of the table with a 100 per cent record, joined by Juventus, Udinese and Cagliari.

"Antonio Conte has given Juve enthusiasm, grit and hunger to fight for every ball, which of course were his characteristics as a player.

"The side is also clinical, which is necessary for a top club. Plus Andrea Pirlo is the midfielder they needed, as giving him the ball is like putting it in a bank and his teammates know it. Juventus can challenge for the Scudetto along with three or four other teams."

Elsewhere, Gian Piero Gasperini, Luis Enrique and Edy Reja are already feeling the pressure after shock defeats.

"Gasperini has to work amid many problems at Inter and once they recover their form, the club will be back at the top. Mind you, it's impossible to think you can just lose Samuel Eto' o and carry on as if nothing happened.

"As for Roma, I think they are on the right track and Saturday's game with Inter showed they have a plan. The fans have been intelligent in understanding it takes time to adjust when radically changing the philosophy of the squad.

"On the other side of the city, Lazio already had problems with fan protests last season. It's likely that after a big transfer spend and that 2-2 draw at Milan, the fans expected something more, but Reja has the character to resist in this situation."

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