Manchester City and Napoli are both flying high in their respective leagues ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash at Stadio San Paolo.
1 November 2017
Kick-off 21:45 CET
Venue: Stadio San Paolo
Referee: F. Brych
Assistants: M. Borsch, S. Lupp
Fourth official: M. Achmüller
TEAM MATCHES WIN DRAW LOSS
Napoli 3 1 1 1
Manchester City 3 1 1 1
Manchester City 2-1 Napoli 17/10/2017 (Champions League)
Manchester City goalscorers: R. Sterling (9′), G. Jesus (13′)
Napoli goalscorer: A.Diawara (PG 73′)
Players to watch:
It’s hard to pick a favourite between Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens. Both the Naples-born native and the Belgian have been in fine form of late, but it’s Mertens who is currently on 10 goals in Serie A from just 11 appearances.
For City, the main man is still Kevin De Bruyne, but Leroy Sane has also impressed so far this season. The German’s pace is deadly, and that could be important in what looks set to be a very open match.
Team form and quotes:
Both sides have gone undefeated in domestic football to top their tables, but it’s City who have the lead in Group F courtesy of a perfect three wins out of three that includes their recent 2-0 victory over the Partenopei.
City’s Premier League record remains just short of perfect, with a solitary draw against Everton on matchday two the only occasion on which they have dropped points, and they have now won their last eight in a row, including last weekend’s 3-2 success over West Brom.
— Official SSC Napoli (@sscnapoli) October 31, 2017
Napoli, meanwhile, were recently held to their only draw of the Serie A season against Inter Milan, but got back to winning ways against Genoa and, last weekend, Sassuolo. However, it is their continental form that’s a worry, as they lost to Shakhtar Donetsk on matchday one. That leaves them third in the standings, three points behind the Ukrainians, and needing to catch up to make it to the next round.
“We know if we go to Napoli and win then we’ll have qualified,” City winger Kevin De Bruyne told his club’s website.
“That would be a nice position for us to be in and then hopefully we can get another good result against Arsenal on Sunday and put some pressure on the rest of the teams.
“It’s important just to get qualified and not about thinking about what it might mean, whether we could get a rest in the remaining group matches.
“If we are qualified, that is done. We might then have to think about finishing first or whatever but we know if we get a point or win, we are qualified and so that’s our target.”
City will be without the services of defenders Vincent Kompany (calf muscle strain) and Benjamin Mendy (ACL knee injury).
For Napoli, Kalidou Koulibaly, Amadou Diawara and Piotr Zielinski all could return to the team after sitting out over the weekend, while Christian Maggio is back to full fitness. That leaves only long-term injury victim Arkadiusz Milik on the sidelines.