Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hailed Napoli as a “really, really good team” ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League showdown at the Etihad Stadium.
The Group F contest will pit two of Europe’s in-form sides against each other, with City having dropped just two points in the Premier League so far this season and Napoli winning all eight of their opening Serie A matches.
Guardiola has previously referred to Napoli as one of the best teams in Europe, and the Spaniard plans to pay little heed to suggestions from the Italian club’s president that they could rest players ahead of their meeting with Inter Milan next weekend.
“Do I believe him? Absolutely not. But he is travelling with Sarri in the same plane, or in a private jet. He can ask him, Mr Sarri, if he is going to play (like this), but I think in the last eight games they played in the same lineup,” he told reporters.
“I can announce which players are going to play, Napoli, against us. They do many many things and all the things they do they do perfectly. In Italy they have won eight games in a row, and won in Rome against Lazio and Roma.
“I heard the president of Napoli in Gazzetta dello Sport said my words were just to distract them, but it is what I believe. I believe they are a really, really good team in all senses but if the president prefers me to say they are a disaster team, and a no good team, I can say that as well.”
City have won both of their Champions League outings so far this season, whereas Napoli have won one and lost one.