Big Match Breakdown: Napoli v Manchester City
The game of the round should see a spectacle in Southern Italy
Group F sees a clash of two heavyweights in Napoli and Manchester City on Champions League matchday four.
The two teams produced one of the games of the season in the previous round of fixtures. Man City came out on top in that game 2-1.
However, Napoli were arguably worthy of a draw by the end of the 90-minutes after a ferocious start to the game by City.
With just three points on the board, the Serie A league leaders could be in trouble if they don’t get a positive result here.
A win for Shakhtar Donetsk over Feyenoord, coupled with a defeat against City, would leave them six behind the Ukrainians with two to play.
Can the Partenopei cut open the Premier League front-runners? The Coral News Team breaks down the big game.
This pair doesn’t have an illustrious history of games between each other.
City and Napoli have faced off three times before, with one win for each, and a draw in the other.
The Serie A giants did win the previous game at Stadio San Paolo back in 2011 and will be confident going into this one.
Napoli also have a good record against English opposition on home soil. In fact, no team from England has beaten them in Naples.
That run includes wins over City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Leeds United and a draw with Liverpool.
The Likely XIs
Both starting XIs generally pick themselves at the minute barring one or two changes.
Arkadiusz Milik is the only absentee for Napoli so Raul Albiol will continue in defence.
In attack, the in-form triumvirate of Dries Mertens, Jose Callejon, and Lorenzo Insigne will all start.
Benjamin Mendy remains a long-term absentee for City so Fabian Delph holds the left-back slot.
The only decision Pep Guardiola will have to make is whether Gabriel Jesus drops to the bench.
The Brazilian could make way for a front-three of Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, and Leroy Sane.
That will provide City with a little more balance in a fixture of this magnitude.
The way these sides will likely line-up means there will be one-on-one match-ups all over the pitch. And every one of them will be vital.
If City are to stop Napoli, they must find a way to squeeze Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne out of the game.
Guardiola’s pressing game is perfect for this, but it will have to be on-point to work effectively. Any sloppiness will be punished.
Fabian Delph has acquitted himself well at full-back since Mendy’s injury.
However, Mertens and Callejon will likely drift to his side to expose any weaknesses. David Silva must work hard to help him out.
The odds suggest Coral are finding it difficult to split the two sides.
Napoli are 33/20, with City at 29/20, and the draw at 27/10.
With Napoli’s strong home record in general and their historical success against English teams at San Paolo, backing City is to be avoided.
All the motivation is with Sarri’s side. They need to get a positive result, or it could be curtains for them.
Backing against Guardiola’s City with the season they’re having is also a no-no. The draw at 27/10 seems the best play here.
Dries Mertens is in incredible form this term and you can get the Belgium international to score Anytime at 21/20.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing