Manchester City face Napoli in the Champions League on Tuesday and there is no danger of Pep Guardiola taking the Serie A leaders lightly.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City players will have no reason to feel over-confident heading into their clash with Napoli after the manager warned of the Serie A leaders’ undoubted quality.
The two sides come into the Champions League Group F meeting at the Etihad Stadium in buoyant mood, both sitting pretty at the summit of their respective domestic tables.
Guardiola’s men thumped Stoke City 7-2 on Saturday, while Napoli maintained their perfect record in the Italian top flight with a 1-0 win at Roma.
The teams have scored a combined 55 goals across 16 league games, conceding only nine – numbers which make for a mouth-watering prospect for the neutral and have Guardiola planning a detailed and cautionary message for his squad.
Asked if he needed to guard against complacency given City’s rich vein of form, the Catalan replied: “I don’t think so, because I am going to show them [Napoli] to my players on Monday and Tuesday – how good they are, and which game they are going to play.
“Of course, if they think that, they will be stupid. That isn’t going to happen. It is my target. And I will show them, like I showed them Shakhtar Donetsk, how good they are. They are quite similar to Shakhtar in terms of the way they play.
“The difference is that Shakhtar maybe wait a little bit. They [Napoli] kill you with the high pressing. They are able to press our keeper. I am very happy to have the opportunity to play this kind of game.”
City hold a three-point lead atop Group F following wins at Feyenoord and at home to Shakhtar, where Napoli were beaten before defeating the Eredivisie outfit last time out.
After describing Napoli as one of the best three footballing teams in Europe, Guardiola was quick to avoid placing his own side in a similar bracket.
“This is not for me to say. It is better I don’t say that,” he said.
“We are solid. Of course, the players have produced an outstanding performance, and the mood in the locker room and the training sessions is excellent.
“Of course, winning games helps to create that, but the guys who came, like [Benjamin] Mendy, like Bernardo [Silva], like Kyle [Walker], they are exceptional guys, and they help us.
“Danilo helps as well, even though he has not played in the last games. They help the team. When that happens, the team is stable.”