The retired Italian, who spent 11 years at the San Paolo during his playing days, believes his former club will have too much pace and incision for the Blues
By Fabrizio Ponciroli
Ex-Napoli defender Moreno Ferrario is extremely confident that the Partenopei are too dynamic to handle for Chelsea's "slow and predictable defence" ahead of their Champions League last 16 second-leg clash at Stamford Bridge, arguing that the London outfit can only dream of possessing attacking talents such as Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Walter Mazzarri's men caused their Premier League opponents all sorts of problems when the two sides met at the San Paolo three weeks ago, and head into Wednesday's game with a 3-1 advantage.
Although it is Chelsea who will have home advantage this time around, Ferrario believes that Napoli's much-lauded forwards are likely to run riot once more, claiming the Blues are not the side they once were.
"I think that Napoli are superior to this Chelsea team," he told Goal.com. "Mazzarri's Napoli are doing better and they have all the cards in their favour to give the English trouble - even at home.
"This is not the Chelsea of two or three years ago. Their champions are not as integrated as they once were; I'm thinking of [Frank] Lampard and [Didier] Drogba.
"Sure, they have some champions and so, on the right night, they can cause problems. But I believe that Napoli can do well.
"In attack, Mazzarri can count on fast and quick players that can do real harm to Chelsea's slow and predictable defence.
"The English dream of players like Cavani and Lavezzi."
Indeed, Ferrario believes that if Napoli front up physically, their renowned counterattacking prowess should prove decisive.
"Napoli have the players to score there," he argued. "If they do not make any mistakes at set-pieces, where the Blues will be looking to exploit their great physical strength, then this fairytale can continue."
Ferrario believes Napoli can even go beyond the quarter-finals, but he admitted that in order to do so they will have to avoid drawing one of the two remaining Spanish sides in the competition.
"This is a very special Champions League," he mused. "With the exceptions of Barcelona and Real Madrid, who are on another planet, I don't see too many teams of a high standard.
"So, if one is lucky, it's possible to go very far."
Ferrario, who was capped by Italy at Under-21 level, joined Napoli from Varese in 1977 before leaving 11 years later to play for Roma.
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