Manchester City take on Ajax Amsterdam at the Etihad Stadium this evening in what could turn out to be an extremely important result for both sides. City will be looking take revenge after their dismal 3-1 loss to Ajax in the previous round of group matches. Mancini’s boys looked shell-shocked and exhausted well before the final whistle two weeks ago. Samir Nasri put the Blues ahead after 22 minutes but Ajax made a strong and devestating second-half come back and went on to win the game.
Ajax will also be looking for a good result as a win for them and a positive result for Borussia Dortmund in Madrid could see Ajax and Real Madrid each on 6 points with only 2 more group matches to play. Ajax lost 2-0 to Vitesse in the league at the weekend and are already 10 points behind the leaders of the Eredivisie after only 11 games. However, Frank de Boer seems to be getting the best out of his youthful talented squad in the Champions League and I can’t see it being an easy game for City tonight.
The Citizens have a massive point to prove tonight as they’ve shown very little of the excellent football they displayed last season and Roberto Mancini will be trying to inject some much needed enthusiasm and hunger into his players. It will be exceptionally difficult for City to progress to the knock-out stages of the competition at all after gaining just 1 point from 3 games but if they want to be in with a shot, this is a must win game for them. The fans will be the first to tell you: a draw will not suffice.
Manchester City will most likely be missing 6 players (Milner, Lescott, Silva, Rodwell, Maicon and Richards) through injury and Kolo Toure is not registered for the UEFA Champions League squad. Ajax also look to be troubled with a few injuries but do not seem to have lost any of their more important players.
Tonight will be make or break for Manchester City’s European dreams and a win will be a huge boost for the players, manager and fans alike if they can win. I can’t see Ajax not scoring after the attacking quality they showed in the previous game between the sides but I think City will show their real quality tonight. My prediction: Manchester City 3 Ajax Amsterdam 1.
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