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UEFA Champions League

  • November 6, 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Etihad Stadium, Manchester
  • Referee: P. Rasmussen
  • • Attendance: 40222

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

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

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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




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


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.

  • 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.

Players to watch

C. Tévez

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 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.

T. Alderweireld

Position: Defender

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 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.

Editor's 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

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