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Pep Guardiola will keep his Manchester City players humble ahead of Napoli match

Pep Guardiola claims there is no chance of his Manchester City players going into this week’s clash with Napoli over-confident.

City’s outstanding start to the season continued as they thrashed Stoke 7-2 on Saturday to move two points clear at the top of the Premier League.

They have now scored 37 goals in 11 games in all competitions and are looking a formidable force.

Tuesday brings a stern test, however, as they host the Serie A leaders in the Champions League and Guardiola insists there can be no complacency.

He said: “If they think (like) that they will be stupid. But that is not going to happen.

“I am going to show to my players on Monday, Tuesday how good a game they (Napoli) are going to play. I will show them, like I showed them Shakhtar Donestsk, how good they are.

“They are quite similar to Shakhtar in terms of the way they play but the difference is where Shakhtar maybe wait a little bit, they kill you with the high pressing. I am very happy to have the opportunity to play this kind of game.”

City are growing into the side Guardiola envisioned with opponents struggling to contain their fast-paced and quick-passing attacking style. The team looks a much stronger unit than last season and, while the forwards earn most of the plaudits, the defence looks to have particularly improved.

City had conceded just four goals in 10 games prior to Stoke’s visit and centre-back John Stones was frustrated they were breached again.

Stones, whose partnership with Nicolas Otamendi continues to develop in the absence of Vincent Kompany, said: “We conceded two goals which is frustrating from my point of view. We will go away and work on that but I think it’s been a great run of defensive play from all of us and I think we showed that.

“As a back four and a keeper we have shown real progress and hopefully we can take it into the next game.”

Guardiola does not highlight defensive aspects, preferring instead to focus on the work of the team as a whole.

He said: “There is a tendency to split attacking and defending and in football you cannot.

“When you attack good you defend good, when you defend good you are going to attack good.

“When you have the feeling to score goals you are going to defend better, when you defend better in the actions you are going to score more. It is not a coincidence. Everything depends on everything.

“Football is dynamic – attack, defend, attack, defend in a row. That is why we have good statistics in those terms.”

Source: PA

Published at Sun, 15 Oct 2017 22:24:02 +0000