The most optimistic of Napoli fans won’thave dreamt about the status of their team as Italian Serie A leaders at this stage of the newseason by the end of last season. Ahead of the final day of the last season, Napoli had the final spot for Champions League qualification in the bag and needed to beat Hellas Verona at home on the last day of the season to secure it. In the end, Napoli lost that final Champions League spot to Juventus as they fluffed their lines with a 1-1 draw. On their part, Juventus thrashed hosts Bologna 4-1 to maintain their strong Champions League qualification record.

The aforementioned Verona clash turned out to be the last game for Gennaro Gattuso as Napoli manager as the fans have to contend with another Europa League campaign. Milan legend Gattuso left Napoli at the end of his contractthis summer and his exit ushered in the Luciano Spalletti era at the club. Ex-Zenit Saint Petersburg and AS Roma manager Spalletti has been able to turn Napoli into title contenders ahead of favourites like Inter Milan, Juventus and AC Milan.

Spalletti and Napoli have been dominant at the start of the new season with eight straight wins thus leading to a two-point lead over Milan at the summit. The current Napoli squad equalled the record of the eight-game winning start set by the 2017/18 squad at the club. During the 2017/18 season, Napoli made it eight successive league wins at the start with an impressive 1-0 away win over Roma and they will face the same fixture on Sunday in the quest to continue their perfect record this season. A goalless draw at home to Inter stopped the winning sequence from above three seasons ago. Napoli will face their second biggest test of the season till date when they take on Roma at the start of next week. In their biggest test this season, they came from behind to beat Juventus 2-1 at home in their second league game.

Napoli are the only team with a perfect record in the top five European leagues. It remains to be seen if they can maintain their strong form until the end of the season in the bid to win a first Serie A title in 32 years ahead of more established clubs like Inter and Juventus.