It's Napoli's year - Bianchi backs Sarri to deliver Scudetto
Ottavio Bianchi has backed Maurizio Sarri to deliver Napoli's third Serie A crown this season despite the presence of Juventus.
Napoli's current crop of stars can emulate the club's heroes of 1987 and 1990 by winning the Serie A title this season, according to Ottavio Bianchi – the man who coached the Partenopei to their first Scudetto.
After six years in Juventus' shadow in the Italian top flight, Napoli have emerged as serious title contenders this season under Sarri's guidance.
With 14 games to play they sit one point clear of Juve and look set for a head-to-head battle to become champions in the coming months.
For Napoli it would be only the third league title success in their history, the previous two having been delivered by a Diego Maradona-inspired squad.
Bianchi guided them to their maiden crown in 1986-87, before Alberto Bigon repeated the feat three seasons later.
And Bianchi believes Sarri's Napoli have what it takes to end their barren run.
"This could be the year, thanks to the great numbers Sarri's team are putting up," he told Corriere dello Sport.
"He's very good and it's a pleasure to see his team in action, they play from memory. When one has the ball and the others move, it's all another song.
"This year they're playing to win the Scudetto and when you get that consistency the Scudetto is no longer a fantasy.
"The Europa League doesn't count right now compared to the league, if a player gets injured there's no time to recover because you're playing every three days.
"Juventus are the only team used to winning though, they're the only one who are of a European level, they're used to winning and have a competitive team."