Rafa Benitez’s men opened their 2014/15 campaign with a last-gasp away win over Genoa, Jonathan De Guzman breaking Rossoblu hearts in the fifth minute of stoppage time on his Serie A debut.
Yet the bright start in the league was to prove a false dawn, with the Partenopei slipping to shock back-to-back defeats against Chievo on home soil and Udinese at the Stadio Friuli.
The visit of newly-promoted Palermo appeared to provide the opportunity to get back on track, only for the Rosanero to rally back to secure a point from a 3-3 draw after Kalidou Koulibaly and Duvan Zapata had given the hosts a two-goal lead.
This setback, however, provided the turning point of Napoli’s campaign, sparking a 10-game unbeaten Serie A run which began with a 1-0 away win over Sassuolo.
Highlights of their resurgence included victories over Torino, Roma and Fiorentina, although their defensive frailties - particularly at home - were laid bare when Cagliari and Empoli both left the San Paolo with a share of the spoils following goal-laden encounters.
A 2-0 defeat at the hands of Milan on the road brought this streak to a halt in mid-December, before the Partenopei responded at the first time of asking by recording their first win in five league games against strugglers Parma.
On their return to league action following the winter break Benitez’s men clocked up a convincing 4-1 away triumph against Cesena, a result that takes them level on points with third-placed Lazio ahead of Sunday’s showdown with Juventus at the San Paolo.