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Benitez confident of title push

4 August 2013 09:33

Napoli manager Rafael Benitez believes his side can challenge for the Serie A title after making a number of high-profile signings.

The San Paolo outfit finished nine points behind champions Juventus in second place last season, and new boss Benitez is positive his team will make a strong start to the 2013-14 campaign.

Key players such as Uruguay international Edinson Cavani and first-choice keeper Morgan De Sanctis have departed this close-season, with the former joining Paris Saint-Germain and the latter leaving for Roma.

But the Spaniard feels that their hard work in the transfer window - which has seen the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Pepe Reina arrive - will help make the loss of such figures less significant.

"Napoli did a good job last season, they finished second, a little far from Juventus, but still second," Benitez said.

"We have signed some players, we have lost three key players, but we have signed some players (Higuain, Reina, Raul Albiol, Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon) so I think that will be ok.

"I think we will need to see how we start during the season, but I think you can see the belief and the work rate is there and we have quality so I have to be positive."

Napoli have performed well in pre-season under Benitez, with their results including a 3-0 win over Carpi and 2-2 draw with Arsenal on Saturday, which saw Reina save a penalty on his debut.

They will continue their preparations with a match against Porto on Sunday, before beginning their league campaign against Bologna on August 25.

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Serie A table

# Team MP D P
1 38 +57 102
2 38 +47 85
3 38 +38 78
4 38 +21 65
5 38 +23 60

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