ITALIAN SERIE A

Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, Italy

Attendance: 14883

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Atalanta

  • Carlos Carmona 19'

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Atalanta v Napoli: Preview

Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon is convinced the temporary malaise afflicting the Serie A challengers will lift soon, starting with tomorrow's trip to Atalanta.

Head coach Walter Mazzarri was not well enough to speak to reporters following Sunday's 1-0 victory over Chievo, citing low blood sugar, with Bigon stepping in to field criticism of the Partenopei's profligate forward line.

How the hosts did not win by a cricket score was remarkable, as Goran Pandev, Lorenzo Insigne and Gokhan Inler struggled to put multiple chances away, relying instead on Marek Hamsik to wrap up all three points.

Napoli were missing star striker Edinson Cavani thanks to a muscle injury, and the Uruguay international will be absent once again at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia.

But Bigon insists that Napoli still have what it takes to keep pace with reigning champions Juventus, who are three points clear at the top of the table.

He told Gazzetta.it: ``I think asking your players to play better than that, or to create more chances, is a very difficult thing to ask in this competition.

``I don't think you'll ever see so many chances on goal in one game.

``But I am very proud of the players and the work they've done up to this point.

``This is a Napoli side that wants to fight right until the very end.

``A lot depends on what we do, but we're also relying on our opponents.

``If Juventus are to keep up their current rhythm, then I don't think there is any team who can keep up with them. They'll win everything.

``But we are convinced that - with hard work - we can compete.''

Stefano Colantuono's Atalanta were not so lucky on Sunday, completely dominating Pescara at the Stadio Adriatico but leaving with a solitary point from a goalless draw.

Federico Peluso is suspended tomorrow, following his dismissal against the Delfini, and Colantuono is desperate to avoid going a man down against Mazzarri's potent side.

``If we're going to beat Napoli then we can't make any mistakes,'' the Orobici coach told Gazzetta.it.

``We're going up against a very strong team. With Juve, they're the strongest in the championship and I'm convinced they can fight for the Scudetto.''

Midfielder Luca Cigarini is also suspended, with Davide Biondini, Ivan Radovanovic and Daniele Capelli just a sample of those on La Dea's lengthy injury list.

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