The Etihad Stadium is expected to be full on Wednesday night when both Manchester City and Napoli make their debuts in the Champions League group stages. In addition, this will be the first competitive meeting between these two sides.
Did you know?
Manchester City’s only participation in the European Cup was back in the 1968/69 campaign – they were knocked out by Fenerbahce in the first round.
Napoli last took part in the European Cup in the 1990/91 campaign. Their only defeat in six European Cup games came against Real Madrid, back in September 1987.
Roberto Mancini’s Press Conference
Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri
‘I expect my team to do as they did last year against Liverpool and Villarreal. We went there and attacked the game. There are stronger teams (in the Champions League) but we will always try to play.’
Manchester City Team News:
Midfielders Gareth Barry and James Milner are both doubtful for Manchester City’s Champions League opener against Napoli on Wednesday.
Barry has been out since sustaining an ankle injury on international duty last week while Milner suffered concussion after a clash of heads in Saturday’s win over Wigan.
Nigel de Jong (foot) remains on the sidelines while Italian striker Mario Balotelli is suspended after being sent off against Dynamo Kiev in last season’s Europa League.
Player to watch: Sergio Agüero
Summer signing Sergio ‘Kun’ Agüero is in tremendous form and has taken to the Premier League like a duck takes to water.
Will he score another hatrick like he did against Wigan on Saturday. I wonder?
Napoli Team News:
Marek Hamsik was used as a substitute against Cesena but will return to the starting XI. Blerim Dzemaili is expected to be dropped in midfield, with Uruguayan Walter Gargano coming into alongside Gokhan Inler.
Player to watch: Ezequiel Lavezzi
Ezequiel ‘El Pocho’ Lavezzi is a proven goalscorer and requires 100% concentration by our back-four.
The 26-year-old Argentinean has 15 international caps and has been at Napoli since 2007.
Match Facts & Stats
This will be the first competitive meeting between these two sides.
Manchester City have lost only two of their 33 home games in all European competition (including qualifiers), losing to fellow English side Chelsea in the Cup Winners Cup semi-final in April 1971 and against Midtjylland in a UEFA Cup qualifier in 2008.
Napoli have lost their three away trips against English clubs in European competition (against Burnley in the 1966/67 Fairs Cup, against Leeds Utd in the 1968/69 Fairs Cup and against Liverpool in the 2010/11 Europa League).
Jonas Eriksson (SWE)
Jonas started refereeing in 1994 and made his debut in the Allsvenskan in 2000. Two years later Eriksson earned his FIFA badge.
The Swede was promoted to the elite category at the beginning of season 2009-2010.
Eriksson is slowly on his way up. He went beyond the UEFA Cup group stage in 2007. December 2008 Eriksson reached the group stage of the Champions League for the first time.
When the three partners sold the TV company (sports rights) in which Jonas Eriksson had a 15 % share, he became multi-millionaire overnight
Man City – 4/11 Napoli – 8/1 Draw – 15/4
Match predictions can be found here.
Barclays Premier League
Sunday 18 September 2011
Kick-off – 3pm