Roberto Mancini will
return to the scene one of his most spectacular goals when
Manchester City visit Napoli on Tuesday attempting to become the
first side to win a European match at the San Paolo for 17
A win would take Manchester City into the last 16 of the
Champions League with a game to spare and their domestic form
suggests that is well within their capabilities against the side
already seven points behind the Serie A leaders.
City have looked unstoppable in the league, winning 11 out
of 12 games and scoring 42 goals in the process,
However, manager Mancini knows as well as anyone that a
match in Napoli is unlike anything they have encountered in the
"My feeling is good because I think that our team has
improved a lot in the Champions League but I know what we can
find in Naples," the Italian said after Saturday's 3-1 win over
"Naples this season are playing very, very well at home and
if we want to win in Naples we should play better."
The San Paolo was the scene of what is remembered in Italy
as one of Mancini's finest goals during his Sampdoria career, a
spectacular volley in a 4-1 win 1990/91, the season they won the
City, with seven points from four games, are second in Group
A, three points behind leaders Bayern Munich who are expected to
clinch their place at home to Villarreal the same evening.
Napoli, like City making their Champions League debut this
season, have five points and must win to keep alive any
realistic hopes of progressing.
City have not won in three previous visits to Italy while
Napoli are unbeaten in 10 home matches since they returned to
European competition following a 13-year absence which saw them
drop down to the Italy's third tier.
In those 10 games, they have conceded only one goal, scored
by Toni Kroos of Bayern Munich earlier in Group A.
Their last home European defeat was against Eintracht
Frankfurt in 1994.
Napoli have been highly erratic this season and their
Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani has been a shadow of the player
who scored 26 Serie A goals last season.
But when Cavani hits form, as he did by scoring a hat-trick
in the 3-1 win over AC Milan in September, Napoli are a
"It won't be at all easy, as City are a team of phenomenal
players," said Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri. "But we will go to
the bitter end."
Mancini, who has been rotating a squad bristling with
international players, rested Edin Dzeko on
Saturday and the Bosnian should head the attack.
Mario Balotelli could be preferred to partner Dzeko in his
homeland thanks to a goal-scoring record and a
cool-as-a-cucumber attitude that is making him a fan favourite.
Napoli: 1-Morgan de Sanctis; 14-Hugo Campagnaro, 28-Paolo
Cannavaro, 6-Salvatore Aronica; 11-Christian Maggio, 23-Walter
Gargano, 88-Gokhan Inler, 8-Andrea Dossena; 17-Marek Hamsik,
22-Ezequiel Lavezzi; 7-Edinson Cavani
Manchester City: 25-Joe Hart; 5-Pablo Zabaleta, 4-Vincent
Kompany, 6-Joleon Lescott, 2-Micah Richards; 18-Gareth Barry,
19-Samir Nasri, 42-Yaya Toure, 21-David Silva; 10-Edin Dzeko,
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