Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Manchester City v Ajax - Preview


Manchester City are troubled by injuries ahead of their vital Champions League Group D game against Ajax at the Etihad Stadium.

City go into their must-win UEFA Champions League clash at home to Ajax on Tuesday night knowing their chances of reaching the knockout rounds are hanging by a thread.

Roberto Mancini's men face the prospect of exiting the competition at the group stage for the second successive year after taking just a single point from their opening three Group D encounters.

The Premier League champions, who currently sit bottom of the pool and six points adrift of leaders Borussia Dortmund, host Ajax knowing defeat will put qualification to the round of 16 beyond their reach.

But City will be cheered by their heartening home record in Europe, having won 14 and drawn four games on home soil since September 2008, and will be hoping to maintain that run against Frank De Boer's Dutch giants.

Ajax head to Manchester boosted by their 3-1 triumph over City at the Amsterdam ArenA last month, while they also beat the club's fierce local rivals Manchester United just over eight months ago.

Mancini has admitted City are "not ready" to mount a genuine European challenge this season but says his side are committed to trying to win their next three games.

History shows City have a sizeable task on their hands, with only eight teams with one point or fewer after three group games having gone on to qualify for the next stage of the tournament, with Arsenal, Liverpool and Newcastle among those that have achieved the feat.


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