Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has backed Manchester City to win the Champions League this season. The Blues were knocked out at the quarter-final stage to Liverpool last season, with a 5-1 aggregate scoreline forming an unwanted blot on Pep Guardiola’s copybook as City won the Premier League in record-breaking fashion. City beat Sarri’s Napoli in the groups stages of Europe’s premier competition on the way to that quarter-final, with Pep Guardiola ranking the Italian side among the best teams he had faced in management. But Sarri is convinced that the Blues can lift a maiden Champions League trophy this time round. “This season, there are two candidates to win the Champions League: Juve and Manchester City,” he told Corriere dello Sport. “I always thought Pep Guardiola’s side was mature enough for the final step on the European stage, but then we’ll have to see how the Spanish clubs are doing in march. “Things change quickly in the Champions League.” City sit top of the Premier League table, ahead of both Liverpool and Chelsea on goal difference. Guardiola’s side might have put some daylight between themselves and the chasing pack last time out, but Riyad Mahrez fired an 85th-minute penalty high over the crossbar with the scores level against Liverpool at Anfield. City do not face Chelsea until December 8, with stand-out fixtures preceding the trip to Stamford Bridge including the visit of Manchester United after an away fixture against Tottenham.