Mazzarri: Napoli can challenge for Serie A title

The Partenopei boss is full of optimism following the return of Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava and has tipped his side to run Juventus close
Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri believes his side can challenge for the Serie A title after seeing match-fixing punishments overturned this week.

The Partenopei were originally deducted two points for their part in the scandal and saw Paolo Cannavaro and Gianluca Grava handed lengthy bans as well, only for that decision to be reversed.

“Can we challenge for the title? We hope so, we’ve done it so far and hopefully we can continue to," he told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The important thing is to keep growing. The statistics show what we have achieved. This side is growing exponentially and there are still 18 rounds left. If we continue like this, then anything could happen."

The Partenopei face Vincenzo Montella's Fiorentina on Sunday and go into the game just three points behind leaders Juventus, with Mazzarri keen to heap more misery on the Viola following a poor start to 2013.

"Fiorentina have been struggling lately, I hope that continues tomorrow!", he joked.

"I am convinced that if we do what we prepared, then it won’t be easy for Fiorentina to play their football. I am concentrating far more on our own strengths.

"It’s true they lost three games in a row, but the performances showed a great Fiorentina.”