Juventus may have stuttered at the start of the 2015-16 campaign but former captain Fabio Cannavaro believes they are still favourites for the Scudetto.
The defending champions only won one of their opening six league games but they have quickly found their feet and have closed the gap on leaders Inter to just three points.
Seven successive wins has seen them break into the top five alongside the rest of the chasing pack in Roma, Fiorentina and Napoli, and Cannavaro expects them to be leading the way once Serie A returns in January.
“I see the Scudetto as a fight between three teams: Inter, Napoli and Juventus,” he told Corriere dello Sport. “With Juve the favourite because in the end the squad makes the difference.
“The [Juve] squad is more competitive, they have confidence and solidity. Juve are Juve. They’re a team that give the best of themselves when they’re under pressure.
“For the Champions League places though I wouldn’t rule out Milan, they’re quietly climbing the table.
“The January transfer window will be important. If Napoli can bring in three international-class players then they’ll make that final leap. With three competitions you need a big squad.”
The notable exception from among Cannavaro’s predicted title challengers are Rudi Garcia’s Roma, the capital city club having slipped down the table after four games without a win prior to last weekend’s victory over Genoa.
He added: “To be honest I didn’t expect this [negative] period from Roma.
“I didn’t expect them to be so defeatist, though they’ve had injury problems and the Champions League hasn’t helped them.
“However, they’re a team based too much on the counter-attack. They don’t have much creativity and that makes it more difficult.”