Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri has admitted he has watched Manchester City a few times already this season, but not every game as he 'didn't want to get depressed'.
The Citizens have made a blistering start to the new season, winning every match across all competitions bar one draw against Everton, and have scored an incredible 29 goals in just eight league matches, a feat that hasn't been managed since the Toffees in 1894.
Napoli coach Sarri: "I watched a few [Man City] matches. I didn’t want to watch all of them because I didn’t want to get depressed...— Jonathan Smith (@jonnysmiffy) 16 October 2017
Pep Guardiola's side remain early favourites for the 2017/18 Premier League title as a result of their impressive showing, and Sarri is certainly wary going into the clash at the Etihad on Tuesday night.
He said: "I watched a few [Man City] matches. I didn’t want to watch all of them because I didn’t want to get depressed..."
The Italian, who has guided Napoli to the top of Serie A after eight matches with a similar brand of attacking football to that of their Champions League opponents, did appear to be indulging in some mind games in his press conference ahead of the game.
He added: "I think Man City are by far the strongest team in Europe atm. City will win the group so results in other games will be important for us. I would like to die a sudden death if I have to, not a painful slow death."
Meanwhile the club's president Aurelio De Laurentiis down-played the encounter, and spoke of his desire to see some stars rested for the match, with a big game against Inter Milan coming up.
"I think Man City are by far the strongest team in Europe atm. City will win the group so results in other games will be important for us.”— Jonathan Smith (@jonnysmiffy) 16 October 2017
He told Gazzetta dello Sport, as quoted by Football Italia: "City? I think that some of our players should sit out this game, with Inter only around the corner and being just as important.
"Inter? We have to face them in a more meditative way. We’ll have the advantage of playing at the San Paulo, in front of our fans. I invite them to fill our stadium.
"It’s a very important moment for our season, and we need their passion. Serie A or CL the priority? We only have to worry about getting out of our group in Europe, not winning all our games."