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Played
November 6, 2012 7:45 PM GMT
Etihad Stadium — Manchester
Referee:‬ P. Rasmussen‎
Attendance:‬ 40222‎
 

Manchester City - Ajax Preview: Mancini's men playing to keep Champions League hopes alive

Failure to beat the Dutch outfit on Tuesday would all but eliminate the English champions at the group stage of Europe's top competition for a second consecutive season

By Oliver Platt

EPL - Manchester City v Swansea City, Carlos Tevez
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  PROBABLE LINEUPS

MANCHESTER CITY

Hart

Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy
Yaya Toure, Barry
Nasri, Tevez, Balotelli
Aguero


AJAX

Vermeer
Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind

Schone, Poulsen, De Jong
Sana, Eriksen, Babel


Manchester City are missing Micah Richards (knee) and Maicon (ankle) at right-back, but Pablo Zabaleta returned to the bench against West Ham and could start here ahead of Kolo Toure.

Roberto Mancini confirmed that James Milner (hamstring) is unlikely to play while Joleon Lescott (back) will also miss out. Javi Garcia is back in contention but David Silva and Jack Rodwell (both hamstring) continue to be sidelined.

Ajax could name the same team that beat City 3-1 in the reverse fixture in Amsterdam. Playmaker Christian Eriksen looks set to continue as an unorthodox centre forward between Tobias Sana and Ryan Babel.

Niklas Moisander missed the 2-0 defeat against Vitesse due to suspension but should take his place back in central defence for this fixture.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Manchester City have collected just one point from their opening three group stage matches and trail leaders Borussia Dortmund by six points with three matches to play.
  • City will travel to Germany to face Jurgen Klopp's early pace-setters but have the benefit of home fixtures against Ajax and Real Madrid.
  • Sergio Aguero has taken the joint-seventh most shots on target in the group stage so far, having hit the target seven times. Manchester United winger Nani has equalled that mark, while Cristiano Ronaldo leads the way on 16 shots.
  • Yaya Toure and Vincent Kompany have collected two yellow cards each in the opening three games and will face a one-match suspension if they are booked again.

  • Ajax collected eight points from a group containing Real Madrid, Lyon and Dinamo Zagreb last season but crashed out into the Europa League on goal difference.
  • Frank de Boer's team exited that competition at the hands of Manchester United despite beating the Red Devils in the second leg at Old Trafford.
  • Finland defender Niklas Moisander (pictured right) is Ajax's top scorer in the competition so far, having bagged goals against both City and Real Madrid.

  • Ajax currently sit fifth in the Dutch Eredivisie, nine points behind leaders PSV. They suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Vitesse on Saturday.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Nov 6, 2012 Manchester City FC 2 - Ajax 2
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  • Match Report
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Oct 24, 2012 Ajax 3 - Manchester City FC 1
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Joe HartGoalkeeper
4Vincent KompanyDefender
5Pablo ZabaletaDefender
22Gael ClichyDefender
33Matija NastasicDefender
8Samir NasriMidfielder
14Javi GarcíaMidfielder
18Gareth BarryMidfielder
42Yaya Touré Midfielder
16Sergio AgüeroStriker
10Carlos TévezStriker
30Costel PantilimonGoalkeeper
13MaiconDefender
13Aleksandar KolarovDefender
-Courtney Meppen-WaltersDefender
10Edin DzekoStriker
45Mario BalotelliStriker
21Scott Sinclair Midfielder
1Kenneth VermeerGoalkeeper
12Toby AlderweireldDefender
25Niklas MoisanderDefender
17Daley BlindDefender
34Ricardo van RhijnDefender
5Christian PoulsenMidfielder
23Christian EriksenMidfielder
10Siem de JongMidfielder
20Lasse SchöneMidfielder
21Derk BoerrigterStriker
-Ryan BabelStriker
22Jasper CillessenGoalkeeper
33Joël VeltmanDefender
32Stefano DenswilDefender
-Mitchell DijksDefender
6Eyong EnohMidfielder
19Tobias SanaStriker
35Viktor FischerStriker
Players to Watch
Carlos Tévez
Carlos Tévez
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
6 0 1 0
Injuries and inconsistency have marked Manchester City's start to the season in an attacking sense but the Argentine has come to be consistently relied upon by Roberto Mancini. He has only started one match in the Champions League so far this season, but seems certain to feature from the beginning here. With David Silva missing, the creative burden will fall even more heavily on Tevez.
Toby Alderweireld
Toby Alderweireld
Position: Defender
Squad Number: 12
Games Goals YC RC
3 0 1 0
It is in Ajax's nature to take a positive, offensive approach to every match but they will be tested at the back in this away match against the English champions. Alderweireld is quickly establishing himself as yet another fine young Belgian player and it may not be long before he joins compatriots and fellow defenders such as Vincent Kompany and Jan Vertonghen in the Premier League. His partnership with Niklas Moisander will be crucial at the Etihad Stadium.
Prediction
Roberto Mancini's team are yet to lose a match in the Premier League but even in domestic competition they have not found the fluency that saw them collect nine wins out of 10 at this stage of the season in 2011-12. On the continental stage, they have struggled in a difficult group and Ajax proved against Manchester United in the Europa League earlier in the year that they can cause top English clubs problems away from hom
Editor's Prediction
Ajax 1
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
10 1
Messi Messi
Striker
Barcelona
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atl. Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Manchester City
6 2