Maurizio Sarri is adamant Napoli can cope with the pressure of playing a day after Juventus and has stressed the result of the reigning Serie A champions’ match against Empoli will not affect them.
Napoli are trailing Juventus by three points heading into this weekend’s fixtures and Sarri is delighted with the way they have held their own this campaign.
“Playing after Juventus is not a problem. It is a fact we have to deal with. There is no controversy. We do not feel any extra pressure. It will be the sixth game in a row that we will play after Juventus. We have gotten used to it,” Sarri said at a news conference ahead of Sunday’s trip to Udinese.
“Juventus have won all of them so far. That could weigh my players down, but we have always remained focused. Napoli have been under pressure for months and we have shown we can deal with it. This is very important to us, both mentally and physically.
“Juventus are ahead of us and are on a roll, while Roma are behind us, even if they were well ahead of us at first. This is proof we have been doing extraordinary things.”
There are concerns over Gonzalo Higuain’s fitness following the striker’s trip to South America for Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers, but Sarri has little doubt the prolific attacker will be able to deliver the goods.
“Higuain is feeling well. He is a champion who is always in a positive mood,” he added.
“He always gives his all for the team, even if he has been travelling a lot for Argentina. His strength is a certainty for us. We do not worry about him.”
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