Italian Serie A, Leagues, Napoli, Story

The top five teams in Shaka’s power rankings stay the same, but there is plenty of movement in the bottom half.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has said he would not swap coach Maurizio Sarri for Pep Guardiola.

After seven wins in a row, Napoli sit at the top of the Serie A table as Sarri — who has led them to second and third in his two seasons in charge — attempts to win their first Scudetto since 1990.

De Laurentiis told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “Right now, I would not swap Maurizio Sarri even for Pep Guardiola.

“We’ve created the conditions for him to work well, so why should he leave? I like Sarri even with his tracksuit, which is a great way of attracting attention.

“In a great Napoli side which is getting people hooked like a TV series, Sarri is a key personality.”

Although Sarri has deflected talk of winning the title, De Laurentiis said he believed Napoli had a good chance.

“Sarri has his views and nobody wants to argue with anybody in football, apart from me — I’d argue with anybody,” he said.

“I believe Napoli are serious rivals for Juve, but Roma could also be, as could Inter, Milan and maybe also Lazio.

“This month is going to be an important test. We’ve got games against Roma, Manchester City [in the Champions League] and Inter. It’s going to be a test, physically and also psychologically.”

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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