Fired-up Napoli are looking to build on their impressive start to the Serie A season under Rafael Benitez with a win at ailing AC Milan on Sunday.
Napoli beat last year’s runners-up Borussia Dortmund in a midweek Champions League match and share the lead in Italy with AS Roma, who could take sole possession of top spot if they do better against city rival Lazio than Napoli do against Milan.
But after finishing second to Juventus last season, Napoli is confident of winning a first title since Diego Maradona led them to glory in 1990.
“We have a great team, a great coach and I hope we can go on like this,” striker Gonzalo Higuain told Sky Sport Italia.
“A striker likes to feel he is important and know he has the faith of the coach.”
Although AC Milan ran out 2-0 winners over Celtic, the Rossoneri failed to convince against the Scottish champions, who dominated for long spells in the second half.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri was quick to turn his attention to Sunday when he will be without a host of first-team regulars.
Having claimed just one win in their last three league games, Allegri can only look at Napoli in admiration.
“Compliments to Benitez. In two months, he’s created a strong team which is tactically versatile,” he said.
“For us it will be a difficult game.”
With only mid-table games being played on Saturday, all eyes will be on Inter, Fiorentina and Juventus – who are just two points adrift of Napoli and Roma and could go top with a win.
Inter, a disappointing ninth last year, have enjoyed a positive start under former Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri and will expect three points when they visit promoted Sassuolo, who prop up the table after three defeats and just one goal.
Juventus will be expecting the same return when they host Verona, where midfielder Claudio Marchisio could return from a knee injury suffered in the Italian Super Cup final triumph over Lazio last month.
Fiorentina, held 1-1 at home to Cagliari last week, travel to Atalanta without injured striker Mario Gomez and midfielder Juan Cuadrado.
With eight goals and just one conceded, Roma are flying under new coach Rudi Garcia and will be expected to dominate a Lazio side that has shipped five in three games.