Thursday Jun 21, 2018  
  15/11/2011: Zoff: "I predict a draw in Napoli"
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As a former player for Napoli, and several roles at Lazio after his playing career, Dino Zoff knows both clubs well. Zoff was interviewed in Il Messaggero about the clash at San Paoli this weekend.

What do you expect to see in this match on saturday?
"Two teams of the highest level will face eachother. For the Biancocelesti  this will be a major test, and I expect a big performance."

Because Napoli are more focused on Champions League then Serie A this season?
"I do not think fatigue is a problem for them, but there is now more stress and responsibility. Mazzarri has a strong and organized team as we have seen from their result in the Champions League."

Based on quality, do you prefer Napoli or Lazio?
"They are different teams, with great potential and they will both finish high this season."

What are the differences?
"Reja's team is more compact, sturdy and is focusing more on the balance between defence and attack. Mazzarri's team is faster, unpredictable and deadly on counter attacks."

On a tactical level, what does Reja need to get the victory?
"First of all. Do not give them too much space, especially Lavezzi. Then they need a lot of personality and intensity. They need to try and not only focus on defending, but also attack Napoli. And of course, it is important that Dias play."

Apart from the speed of Lavezzi, what else does Lazio have to watch out for?
"The technical strength of Naples, something we see when they play at home. We saw this against Milan and in Europe. They also need to watch out for Cavani."

And what does Napoli need to watch out for?
"The overall structure and the strength of the midfield. The determination of a group that wants to remain at the top and continue to surprise. The class of Klose and the power and rage of Cissé."

Lazio at the top. Will it last?
"The current position is certainly well deserved. The team was already strong, and has made some important purchases. This has improved their technical rate and personality. It will be hard to stay at the top, but Lazio will remain in the top positions."

Do you think they can improve the 5th place from last year?
"They might improve it. It is possible to enter the Champions League. They now play with a purpose."

Lazio has done well in Serie A, but has struggled in Europe?
"You will see that after a slow start, they will qualify."

Are you amazed by the performances of Klose?
"No, because he has already proved himself on a international level. He has confirmed in Lazio that he is a champion."

Do you have any advices to give to the German?
"I would tell him to think more about the goal and not run after opponents. His class is certainly in the box."

As a great goalkeeper yourself, what do you think of Marchetti?
"After the one year without playing in Cagliari, it was not easy to get back at his best so quickly. He has really established himself quickly, and I think he will be back in the national team."

Will Cissé finally score again soon?
"The frenchmen is an interesting player. He has pace, power and personality. Soon he will be back to scoring goals, maybe on saturday at San Paolo."

How do you rate the work of Edy Reja?
"He is doing very well. He has clear ideas, and he know the group. The players look up to him and the results has proved him right."

How will the match at San Paolo end?
"With a highly entertaining draw."

(Eivind Ytreland)
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