Benitez predicts five-horse Serie A race
Napoli coach Rafa Benitez believes there is a breakaway group forming in Serie A who could all challenge for the title after the top five all won at the weekend.
The Partenopei's 2-0 win over Torino on Sunday ensured that they remained tied in second spot with Juventus, five points adrift of the current pacesetters Roma.
However, Benitez has also warned not to underestimate the challenges of Fiorentina and Inter Milan, who both lie just four points off Napoli.
“It’s not a three-horse race in my opinion,” Benitez told Sky Italia. “Inter and Fiorentina should be included also, particularly the Nerazzurri, who don’t have European matches.
“Obviously Juventus have a complete squad and have to be respected as an incredibly strong side, but we’ve got strength, the mentality and quality to win many games and we can get big results too. I’m pleased today in a different way to how I was after the Marseille game.”
Two penalties from Gonzalo Higuain earned Napoli all three points at the Stadio San Paolo, and Benitez has laid down the gauntlet to the Argentina international.
“I’ve said that he can score 20 goals, but he could even score 25,” Benitez said. “He’s feeling a lot better and I’m delighted he’s scored. He works for the team and he’s a player who can make the difference when he’s got his full strength back.
“We’re not at our best yet -- I’d say we’re at around 75 percent of our potential, but we want to reach the maximum as soon as possible.”