Serie A leaders Napoli couldn’t stop red-hot Man City in their tracks at Etihad Stadium, but they are confident about their chances in the return leg.
And while the Azzurri would be in big problems in case of a poor result on Wednesday, the Citizens have a chance to all but secure the first place in the standings.
Many agree that Napoli are the most exciting side in European football, but the Azzurri also need to start challenging for major honours if they are to be taken seriously.
Maurizio Sarri’s side have been thoroughly impressive in Serie A this term, winning 10 of first 11 matches, and yet they are mere three points clear of fourth-placed Lazio.
This means that Napoli will be involved in an incredibly interesting title chase in the league with Juventus, Inter, Lazio and possibly Roma, but they also plan to do well in Europe.
The Champions League campaign had a pretty bad start as the Azzurri lost two of first three group matches, but there is still time to turn things around.
Napoli can be backed at 2.80 (9/5) to defeat Man City on Wednesday and edge closer to a place in the next stage.
Maurizio Sarri managed to rest some of his starters in weekend’s win over Sassuolo, but Arkadiusz Milik remains sidelined.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Reina – Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Ghoulam – Zielinski, Diawara, Hamsik – Callejon, Mertens, Insigne.
Even if that didn’t seem likely last term, Pep Guardiola appears to have turned Manchester City into a top top side.
The Citizens have been thoroughly impressive in all the competitions entered, but it remains to be seen how long they can keep the rich vein of form.
Eight successive wins saw Man City create a five-point lead at the Premier League summit, while the Citizens also won each of their three Champions League fixtures.
Peo Guardiola’s side cannot afford to relax just yet as Shakhtar are just three points behind, while Napoli would be as well if they win the game at Stadio San Paolo.
This is why the visitors are expected to take the game quite seriously, although they could face a tough task against in-form Azzurri.
Pep Guardiola has no fresh injury worries at the moment, but Vincent Kompany and Benjamin Mendy remain sidelined.
Probable starting line-up (4-1-3-2): Ederson – Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Danilo – Fernandinho – De Bruyne, Silva, Sane – Aguero, Jesus.