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Walter Mazzarri insists that Napoli still has a chance to qualify for the Champions League

Napoli head coach Walter Mazzarri emphasized that securing a Champions League spot is still within reach for the defending Serie A champions as they gear up to face Hellas Verona on Sunday.

Despite a drop in form during the 2023-24 campaign, Napoli, who won their first Scudetto in 33 years last season under Luciano Spalletti, believe they can climb the standings and contend for a top-four finish under Mazzarri, who took over in November after Rudi Garcia. Napoli is currently in ninth place, trailing fourth place by four points.

Asked at a press conference if the Champions League spots remained a realistic objective for Napoli, Mazzarri said: “I don’t look at the table for my own reasons.

“But it’s clear that there are many teams within three to four points, and therefore the objective is possible.”

Since the beginning of the calendar year, Napoli, who have been without their star striker Victor Osimhen due to international duty with Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations, experienced a 3-0 defeat at Torino. Following that, they secured a 2-1 home victory against Salernitana, won 3-0 against Fiorentina, suffered a 1-0 loss to AC Milan in the Supercoppa Italiana, and played to a goalless draw at Lazio in their return to league action last weekend.

Mazzarri said: “In the last few games we created little, for various reasons, also due to the strength of the opponents, but we returned solid and balanced, after the very bad performance in Torino.

“It’s clear that we will need to be more aggressive and proactive to create scoring opportunities, perhaps even shooting from outside, because we can’t always enter the area with triangles and penetrations.

“This week we are also working on this aspect and I think we will see the results.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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