Manchester City and Napoli are likely to offer up the week’s most entertaining game of football when they meet at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday (19:45 BST, live on BT Sport).
Both teams play attractive, passing football and both score a lot of goals. Matches involving Manchester City have averaged nearly four goals so far this season, while those involving Napoli have averaged 3.5. There is every reason to think Tuesday’s match will be a great one.
Man City and Napoli are the two favourites to progress from Champions League Group F, although an opening day defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk means that Napoli are in greater need of points than City coming into the double-header between the teams. City lead the group with six points from two victories; Napoli are tied in second with Shakhtar on three points.
Man City’s perfect start to their Champions League campaign has been mirrored by an excellent first couple of months domestically. The Citizens are the unbeaten leaders of the Premier League, having won seven and drawn one of their eight fixtures to date. A total of 29 goals scored and just four conceded speaks to how impressive they have been.
On Saturday, Stoke became their latest victims. City put together some scintillating attacking football as they raced into a three-goal lead inside the opening half hour and although their visitors were able to pull the score back to 3-2 with goals either side of the half-time, three more City goals in a seven-minute period thereafter finished things off en route to an eventual 7-2 rout.
It was City at their fluid best, which is something they have been better able to achieve on a regular basis this season. Summer reinforcements have added dynamism in key areas and whether through slick passing combinations or rapid runners, City are able to fashion chances against most defences. Their impressive win over Chelsea also showed increasing adaptability.
[quote style=”boxed” float=”right”]Both teams play attractive, passing football and both score a lot of goals[/quote]
Guardiola was full of praise for his side after Saturday’s victory, describing the performance as the best since his arrival. He urged supporters to come out on Tuesday to watch would he said would be a “beautiful match between two teams who have a similar style.”
Napoli have finished in the top three of Serie A in each of Maurizio Sarri’s two seasons in charge to date and have made a very strong start to the new campaign. They currently top the table following eight victories from eight matches. With 26 goals scored and just five conceded their start has been just as impressive as that of City in the Premier League.
A first-half goal from Lorenzo Insigne saw them to victory in a tightly contested 1-0 win away to Roma on Saturday. Their hosts did have a few half-chances, but Napoli could also have added to their lead with better decisions on the counter attack as the match became stretched during the second half. On a day when champions Juventus lost at home to Lazio, it was an excellent result for Sarri’s side.
Sarri is a workaholic who cut his teeth in the lower leagues before finally reaching Serie A in 2014. His Napoli side play dominant and decisive football, pressing high and moving the ball with zip and verve with the help of planned and practiced movements. They create triangles down the flanks and if they cannot make progress on one side, switch back to the centre and over to the other. It is an aesthetically pleasing yet effective style of play.
The same could be said for City this season and that is why there is so much anticipation ahead of Tuesday’s match. These are two teams who are very confident in their approaches and who are unlikely to let the other settle. Napoli are incredibly well-drilled but that little extra bit of individual quality that City possess in midfield and further forward should be just enough to see them over the line to victory on home soil.
Our Preview’s Man City vs. Napoli Betting Tips Verdict
- Bet on Manchester City to win in a match featuring over 2.5 goals @ 10/11 with Betfred or Betfair.
- Bet on the 2nd half to be highest scoring half @ 10/11 with SunBets or Paddy Power.
Compare Bookies’ Man City v Napoli Match Winner Betting Odds