Rome: Pep Guardiola takes his swaggering Manchester Metropolis facet to the house of Italian league leaders Napoli on Wednesday understanding a win will assure qualification for the Champions League knockout phases with two video games to spare.
Metropolis, unbeaten this season, notched an eighth straight Premier League win on Saturday that retains them 5 factors away from nearest challengers Manchester United.
Guardiola’s free-scoring facet have received 13 video games in a row in all competitions and are unbeaten of their previous 21 outings – two new membership data.
They’re driving excessive on the prime of Champions League Group F with three wins from three, understanding victory towards Napoli would see them qualify for the knockout spherical.
However Guardiola stays cautious of the Neapolitans – third within the group behind Metropolis and Shakhtar Donetsk – with Belgian Dries Mertens catching the attention up entrance this season.
“We want another win to qualify however we’re going to the group which are main Serie A and everyone is aware of the kind of soccer they play in their very own stadium so it’ll be very tough,” stated the Metropolis boss.
“However it’s an important alternative for us to e book our place and we will attempt our greatest to do it.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp steered Metropolis’s Premier League dominance is such that they could possibly be champions by January, a suggestion Guardiola has brushed apart.
“Undoubtedly,” he stated when requested if it was unrealistic. “You might be English – from a very long time in the past, did you see a champion in January? Me neither.”
The Spaniard – who campaigned for independence for his native Catalonia – is focusing on a 3rd Champions League trophy wins in 2009 and 2011 on the helm of Barcelona. He didn’t progress past the semi-finals throughout his three-year spell at Bayern Munich.
However Maurizio Sarri’s facet have been equally dominant in Italy this season, the place they’re unbeaten in 11 league video games – together with 10 wins – as they chase a primary Serie A title because the golden days of Diego Maradona in 1990.
Sarri’s facet misplaced 2-1 on the Etihad two weeks in the past after falling to Shakhtar by the identical scoreline final month.
“We all know if we go to Napoli and win then we’ll have certified,” stated Manchester Metropolis’s Belgian midfielder Kevin De Bruyne.
“That might be a pleasant place for us to be in after which hopefully we will get one other good consequence towards Arsenal on Sunday and put some stress on the remainder of the groups.
“It is vital simply to get certified and never about interested by what it’d imply, whether or not we may get a relaxation within the remaining group matches.
“If we’re certified, that’s carried out. We would then have to consider ending first or no matter however we all know if we get a degree or win we’re certified and in order that’s our goal.”
The Belgian believes each side will present indicators of fatigue after a troublesome marketing campaign, with Metropolis having performed 16 video games this season and Napoli 12.
“We attempt to relaxation at any time when there’s a possibility and ensure we’re contemporary,” he stated.
“For lots of groups, it’s totally onerous. It is virtually November. The quantity of video games we’ve performed and need to play is huge and there could possibly be one other 40 or 50 to go so we all know what the duty forward is however we have now a giant squad and we will address the calls for.”