Arturo Vidal insists that Juventus remain the team to beat in Serie A, despite a recent dip in form.
The leaders travel to Napoli for a difficult assignment on Sunday night having won just one of their previous four in the league, but the Chilean midfielder says they are top of the pile on merit and it is up to the chasers to hunt them down.
Juventus were held by Inter Milan last weekend while Napoli overcame them in the Italian Super Cup final in December.
Vidal is not willing to panic just yet, but he knows that Rafa Benitez’ side will once more present a stern challenge. Juventus are 2.44 to win in Naples, with the home side 3.05 and the draw 3.20.
“It’s a heated and difficult game,” he said. “It’s still painful to have lost the Italian Super Cup but we have to look ahead and prove that we are stronger than they are.”
With Roma now on the coattails of the champions, Vidal insists that, even if the margin is small, Juve remain the benchmark.
“We are still ahead of Roma at the top of the standings,” he said. “But if Roma are second it is because we have something extra than them.”
Napoli goalkeeper Rafael saved a crucial penalty in last month’s shootout win over Juventus and he says that victory brings belief to the home side for the visit of the defending champions.
“We are more convinced about our worth after the Super Cup,” Rafael told the Italian press. “We usually don’t fail in games against Juve and we hope that will be the case on Sunday.”