Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has labelled Serie A side Napoli one of the best teams currently playing in Europe.
The Spaniard will oversee City's Champions League group stage match against Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday night. However, eyes will soon be turned to a stern test against the Italian table toppers, with the teams set to face off next month, as well as in November.
Speaking ahead of this week's match, Guardiola praised Shakhtar, who were able to beat the Partenopei in the first round of group stage matches, lauding the ability that saw them topple one of Europe's strongest teams.
“The players are going to see how good they [Shakhtar] are and hopefully I can convince them to take it seriously,” Guardiola said in his pre-match press conference (H/T Football Italia).
“They beat one of the best teams playing football right now, in Napoli.
"Napoli are one of the three or four or five best teams, playing football and in results, because they are leading the Italian league, and they [Shakhtar] were able to beat them," he added.
“People say: ‘Napoli ? It's not Juventus, not Milan, not Inter. Shakhtar? It's Ukraine’. That group is tricky. It's tricky.
"We'll at home for our next two games, and we can take a big step towards the knockout round in February.”
Napoli sit atop Serie A after winning all six games so far this season, scoring a remarkable 22 goals already. However, Maurizio Sarri's team lost their opening Champions League tie with Shakhtar and will be extra eager to take points off City in the race for the knockout stages.
After their clash with Napoli's conquerors Shakhtar on Tuesday night, City face another tough test at the weekend against Premier League title rivals Chelsea.