Last season’s surprise Serie A title challengers were Napoli, who, after fading to finish an eventual third, are 7/4 fifth-favourites in this year’s Scudetto betting market with bwin.
As late as March, Napoli were in with a good chance of claiming only their third-ever Serie A title and their first since 1990, when they were steered to the summit for the second time in four years by the genius of Diego Armando Maradona.
However, whereas Maradona was the driving force behind Napoli’s previous title challenges, this time they were driven by a group of talented players.
Edinson Cavani was arguably the leading light, with the striker netting 26 times in 35 league appearances to leave him second in the Serie A goalscoring charts.
With the Uruguayan ably assisted by the likes of Marek Hamsik and Ezequiel Lavezzi, Napoli were just three points off leaders AC Milan with eight games to go.
But a late collapse cost them any remaining chance of the title and the Azzurri faded to finish in third, 12 points behind Milan and six behind second-placed Inter.
Key to any future title tilt will be Napoli’s ability to hold on to their star players.
A successful £25 free bet on the Azzurri to win the Scudetto, available to new customers who sign up for a bwin account, would return £68.75.
Yet Napoli’s odds will surely lengthen in Cavani moves, as has been rumoured, to Manchester City.
The Citizens are also apparently interested in Lavezzi and Hamsik, with the latter also linked with a transfer to Serie A rivals AC Milan.
For their part, Napoli are reported to be interested in Gokhan Inler, Antonio Cassano and Wilson Palacios, although they will need to be additions rather than replacements if the squad is going to be capable of mounting a credible challenge.
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