Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain says his team-mates are dreaming of the Scudetto ahead of Monday’s visit from Serie A leaders Inter.
Going into the weekend’s Serie A action, Inter sit two points clear of Maurizio Sarri’s Napoli at the summit, although the pair’s closest challengers Fiorentina and Roma are both in action on Sunday.
Inter and Napoli have conceded just seven and eight league goals respectively this term, taking advantage of Juventus’ sluggish title defence to stake an early claim for the Scudetto.
While both camps have been eager to play down their respective title chances so far as they approach the midway point of the season, Higuain admitted his focus was firmly on winning the league.
“It’s only right to dream and anyone who says they’re not dreaming of the Scudetto is lying,” the Argentinean told Corriere della Sera.
“At the same time, what the coach says is also true, we have to take it one game at a time.
“When our fans are behind us we become even stronger. We need them and they need us, this is the perfect tandem to be successful.
“I am still young and think I can still learn a great deal more. That is my only objective. We’ll study Inter, but after that must remain concentrated on doing what we know best.”
Higuain has scored in all three of his home games against Inter, but will come up against a side who have kept four successive clean sheets in the league.
The last time Inter had a longer run without conceding in the same season was back in 2004-05.
While Napoli have seen Lorenzo Insigne shake off fitness concerns, Inter coach Roberto Mancini could be without Geoffrey Kondogbia following a knock to his thigh.
But, off the back of four consecutive Serie A victories, Fredy Guarin is confident Inter can claim a first win in Naples since October 1997.
Asked about the secret to Inter’s success, Guarin told Inter Channel: “A great group of lads all pulling in the same direction.
“We’re all willing to lend each other a hand, both on and off the pitch. Mancini makes sure everyone feels involved, even those who are playing less.”
Key Opta stats:
– Napoli and Inter have drawn each of their last three Serie A meetings: last season both games ended 2-2.
– Napoli have won their last seven home games between Serie A and Europa League, scoring 22 goals and conceding just two
– Napoli have scored in their last 24 home league games: 60 goals, an average of 2.5 per game. Inter have scored in their last 10 away Serie A games.
– Samir Handanovic has kept four clean sheets in a row: the last time he kept five in a row in the same season was in March 2011 with Udinese.
– Stevan Jovetic has scored in two of his three games played at the San Paolo in Serie A.