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In arguably one of the strongest round of Matchday 3 of the Champions League, Manchester City welcome Napoli to the Etihad. Both sides sit top of their respective leagues, Napoli boast of 100% eight wins from eight matches while City put seven past Stoke City on Saturday.
A win for Pep Guardiola’s side would put City on the verge of the last 16. Here is everything you need to know about the fixture at the Etihad on Tuesday evening.
Napoli have visited Manchester to play City once. That came in September 2011 and was the English club’s first ever Champions League fixture. Edinson Cavani put The Light Blues ahead before Aleksandar Kolarov rescued a point for City with an equaliser 15 minutes from time.
Defeat in the return fixture in Italy would ultimately condemn Guardiola’s side to the Europa League, but the Serie A giants would progress to the last 16 where they were knocked out by eventual winners Chelsea.
Manchester City have found their way to the top of the Premier League table, winning seven of their opening eight matches. City are scoring goals for fun, having netted 17 in their last three home games. Guadiola’s men have won both their opening two Champions League games, with no goals conceded so far. That’s impressive!
Napoli are just one match better than City having won all eight Serie A games. Napoli had eye-catching away wins at Lazio and Roma while also beating Benevento 6-0. Napoli defeat this season so far was in the Champions League losing 2-1 against Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, but bounced back to their winning ways by hammering Feyenoord 3-1 on UCL Matchday 2.
City are expected to recall Danilo to replace the injured Benjamin Mendy. The Brazil international was only on the bench for the 7-2 mauling of Stoke on Saturday, but the former Real Madrid defender could well start. Sergio Aguero has recovered from his car crash, but may not be risked from the start, especially given the form of Gabriel Jesus and Leroy Sane at the moment.
Maurizio Sarri’s side have only one injury concern following the win at Roma on Saturday night. Jorginho suffered a knock and could be replaced by Marko Rog in midfield. Raúl Albiol is fit again and should start in place of Nikola Maksimović.
This really should be a cracking game and given the form of both sides, it would be wrong to not expect goals.
It’s a big game for Napoli as they are hoping to some daylight between them and Shakhtar, but it is every hard to see past the Manchester giants if they can bring their Premier League home form into the Champions League.
Prediction: Manchester City 3-2 Napoli