Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon believes that City can go all of the way in this season’s UEFA Champions League.
Despite the fact that City have failed to make it past the Round of 16 stage in four attempts, the legendary goalkeeper is of the opinion that the Blues will be there or thereabouts in this year’s tournament.
Buffon also expressed his relief that Sergio Aguero will be missing from the home line-up on Tuesday night but warned that the opposition is full of other potential threats in this mouthwatering Group D opener.
"For me it will be my first time playing in this stadium, against City who are one of the candidates to win the Champions League,” he told journalists in the pre-match press conference at the Etihad Stadium.
"They have seven or eight attacking players who could play in Europe's top five.
"We want to play our own game, as we always do. I think we'll be in for an entertaining encounter tomorrow.
“It will be great to kick off our Champions League campaign with such a testing fixture.”
Juventus have endured a difficult start to their Serie A defence, failing to win any of their opening three games.
Buffon put this down to a high turnover of players in the summer transfer window and backed the Old Lady to come good once the squad had benefitted from time together to gel.
“The full 25-man squad has only trained together for two to three days,” he argued.
“We need to get to know each other quickly. We expected better from the first three games but I'm sure we'll once again show the qualities we did just a few months ago.”
These sentiments were echoed by Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri, who forecasted a tough game against one of the continent’s top teams.
Allegri said: “Tomorrow we'll require a focused display, aware that we're up against one of the best teams in Europe.
"City are one of the favourites for the Champions League. Tomorrow will be the first of six group matches and our aim is to get through.
“We'll need to put an intense display, show plenty of courage and also be at the races from a technical standpoint.
"Time and hard work is needed when 10 of 22 outfield players are changed.
“The more we play together, the better we'll get."
City begin their Champions League campaign against last season’s finalist Juventus on Tue 15th Sept at 7.45pm. For a first glimpse of new signings Kevin De Bruyne and Nicolas Otamendi, make sure you’re there to support the team for what promises to be an exciting night of European football. Buy your tickets now or enjoy the game in the new 93:20 bar from £67 + VAT.
Show your support for City U19s who also face Juventus, on the same day as the first team, in the UEFA Youth League. Kick-off is 5pm at the Academy Stadium. Tickets available now; Cityzens can redeem a free match ticket for this fixture now and non-Cityzens can purchase tickets.