Tuesday September 13 2011
Mancini: 'Napoli will attack City'

Roberto Mancini believes Manchester City face a tough test, as “Napoli will not come here to put up barricades.”

The two clubs return to the Champions League after long absences and go head-to-head on Wednesday evening.

“Napoli are capable of doing anything, whether playing the counter-attack or focusing on possession,” he told Sky Sport Italia.

“A side that has Marek Hamsik, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Edinson Cavani will not come here to put up barricades and shut up shop. They're here to fight for the points.”

Considering Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero both scored Premier League hat-tricks this month, it seems Mario Balotelli has dropped down the pecking order.

“No, Balotelli is on a par with the other two. He is a great player and, seeing as we'll have three games per week, all the strikers will have the opportunity to play.

“Despite the fact he hasn't played much in the last month, he trained very hard and is in good shape. It disappoints me that I cannot play him tomorrow due to his ban.

“I think it is going to be a difficult game, but it is only the first of the group phase and it would be nice to start with a victory,” said the manager.

“We have already played five official fixtures, Napoli only one, so that could be an advantage in terms of fitness levels and sharpness. Another advantage is that many of our players already have experience of the Champions League.

“Manchester City are already one of the best teams in England and I hope they can become that in Europe, too. This is a game that has to become normal for us.”

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with