Manchester City travel to Amsterdam in search for their first victory in Europe this season – in hope to qualify to the knockout rounds of The Champions League.
Manchester City however will be without Spanish star David Silva – who has not recovered from the hamstring injury he picked up playing for Spain against France last week.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has a few selection problems prior to the game – James Milner is likely to replace David Silva in the line up to mark his first appearance in Europe for City this season. However, City manager Mancini would not be drawn up upon whether or not Edin Dzeko will start the game.
Edin Dzeko is the clubs top scorer this season. With 6 goals in all competitions – 5 coming from the bench. Including last weeks vital double against West Brom.In fact – Man city would be ten points less in The Barclays Premier League without Dzeko's late goal heroics.
Mancini said: “"It is always difficult. When you have four strikers like Mario [Balotelli], Sergio [Aguero], Carlos [Tevez] and Edin, you can't play them all - Dzeko was fantastic against West Brom, but we will decide tomorrow."
City are third in group D having collecting one point from a possible six. However – these two games have been away at Real Madrid and home to German league champions Borussia Dortmund. City will feel they deserved a point at Madrid – whilst a hard fought draw against Dortmund will be seen as a point gained for Mancini rather than two lost.
Ajax are bottom of the grup having failed to win either of their first two games. Qualification looks unlikely for the four time European Champions – who have failed to live up to their past in recent European competitions.
Last 5 Results – Manchester City: L W W W W
20/10/12 – West Brom 1 – 2 Man City
06/10/12 – Man City 3 – 0 Sunderland
03/10/12 – Man City 1 – 1 Borussia Dortmund
29/09/12 – Fulham 1 – 2 Man City
25/09/12 – Man City 2 – 4 Aston Villa A.E.T
Last 5 Results – Ajax: D D L W D
20/10/12 – Heracles Almelo 3 – 3 Ajax
07/10/12 – Ajax 1 – 1 FC Utrecht
04/10/12 – Ajax 1 – 4 Real Madrid
29/09/12 – Ajax 1 – 0 Twente Enschede
23/09/12 – ADO Den Haag 1 – 1 Ajax
Although Manchester City have had a slow start to the season – they remain unbeaten in the league and find themselves third – behind Manchester and Chelsea. Ajax too have started the season slow and find themselves fourth in the Eredivisie. Ajax and Manchester City will both be looking to secure their first win in Europe this season – however I see City winning this game.
With Dortmund to play Real Madrid – it is likely Man City can claim second spot of Group D with a victory of Ajax. Man City are desperate to qualify to the latter stages of the tournament. With two games against Ajax coming up – City will be keen to take maximum points from both games to steer their campaign in to the right direction.
Prediction: - Manchester City 2 – 0 Ajax
With two games coming up against Ajax – Man City will be desperate to claim all six points in order to progress up Group D. Although once great giants of European football, Ajax have failed to hit similar heights in recent years.
I believe this is the ideal duo of fixtures Mancini was after in order to ensure his team progress to the latter stages of the competition.