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The Spain international picked up a hamstring injury while playing for his country but assistant manager Brian Kidd has indicated that he could return for Wednesday's clash

DEBATE

It did not take them long at all to rise to Premier League title contention, but Manchester City's growing pains in the Champions League have proved somewhat more troublesome as they continue their second campaign in Europe's premier competition.

A late defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu against Real Madrid was followed by an unconvincing draw at home to German champions Borussia Dortmund in a group that contains four national title winners.

City's latest test comes against Ajax, who clinched the Dutch crown last season, at the Amsterdam ArenA. Frank de Boer's team have already been seen off by both Madrid and Dortmund, making the clash an early must-win for Roberto Mancini.

The Italian will hope to be boosted by the return of midfield wizard David Silva, who picked up an injury while playing for Spain against France during last week's international break.

The stakes are already high for City but Mancini will be wary of rushing Silva back into action having initially suggested that the club's next domestic match against Swansea City might be a more realistic target.

Brian Kidd piqued the interest of the club's supporters when he hinted that an earlier return could be on the cards depending on the outcome of fitness tests conducted before the game.

Aggravating the 26-year-old's hamstring problem could prove disastrous ahead of a November which features the return fixture against Ajax as well as games against Tottenham, Real Madrid and early pace-setters Chelsea, but Mancini may decide that Silva's involvement is a necessary risk given the already precarious state of their European survival.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Should Silva be risked for City's latest Champions League challenge? Or should Mancini think longer-term and hand another one of his players an opportunity to shine on the continental stage?

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