Manchester City vs Napoli: Match preview

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Manchester City vs Napoli
Champions League Group A
Etihad Stadium
Wednesday, 14th September: 19:45


Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Kolarov; Yaya, Barry; Nasri, Aguero, Silva; Dzeko.

Substitutes: Pantilimon, Richards, Savic, Clichy, Kolo Toure, Johnson, Tevez.

Napoli: De Sanctis; Campagnaro, Cannavaro, Aronica; Maggio, Inler, Gargano, Zuniga; Hamsik, Lavezzi; Cavani.

Substitutes: Rosati, Fideleff, Dossena, Fernandez, Santana, Dzemaili, Pandev.

Mancini wary of Napoli threat

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is ready to lead his team into the unknown as they take on Napoli in their maiden outing in the Champions League.

After finishing fourth in the Barclays Premier League last season City earned a chance to compete in Europe's Premier club competition for the first time, 43 years on from their last venture in the European Cup.

Their performances so far this season, which has seen them pick up maximum points in the Premier League from their first four games gives Mancini reason to believe his side won't just make up the numbers.

"I think it's an exciting day for the club, because to play in the Champions League after many years is special," said Mancini.

"Now Manchester City is one of the best teams in England and in Europe, so [high expectations] are normal. It is important for us to do our job very well in this group. Our aim is to go in to the second stage.


"I don't know how far we can go because it is the Champions League. It is important we start the group well tomorrow and reach the second stage. If we do then we can talk about what is possible in February.

"It will be an important day for us and a difficult game. We have players with lots of experience, a lot of our players have played in the Champions League so there is not a problem with pressure."

City aren't the only side staring down the barrel of their first Champions League outing, as their opponents Napoli contemplate their debut in the competition.

After finishing third in Serie A, just 12 points behind champions AC Milan, Walter Mazzarri's team are ready to make their bow, after last making an appearance in the European Cup in 1990/91.

Mazzarri is hoping his side can replicate their league form on the continent.

"There's no doubt about the challenge posed by the opposition but after the confidence-boosting away win at Cesena, we are determined to put up a fight," he said.

"My players must not think about the fact that this is the Champions League or who the opponents are. We did well against Villarreal and Liverpool at grounds that are no less difficult than this one, and when we were less experienced. We can repeat that.

"We're here to give Manchester City a game and to make life tough for them, as we did with most teams in Italy and around Europe last year.

"Of course, with the star quality they [Manchester City] have we must be careful not to allow them too many chances."

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Manchester City
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