Man City desperate for European win

Man City will face Ajax in a must win Champions League group game on Wednesday.

Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini. Picture: AFP/Andrew Yates

MANCHESTER - Manchester City's struggle to transfer their Premier League form to the Champions League will come into focus again on Wednesday when they face Ajax Amsterdam knowing defeat would leave them in a precarious position.

After going out in the group stage last season, City's expensively assembled squad have failed to lift the team.

City currently occupy third place in Group D with a single point from their opening two games.

Manager Roberto Mancini could point to the fact his team have already faced the champions of Spain and Germany in the toughest of the eight groups.

But there will be no excuses if his side comes home empty-handed from Wednesday's encounter with Ajax who are bottom having lost their first two matches.

Since making their Champions League debut last season they have lost three of their four away games and went down 3-2 to Real Madrid last month in their first road trip of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Ajax will be short on confidence having endured a miserable October.

Frank de Boer's team kicked off the month with a 4-1 home defeat against Real Madrid and in the Dutch league his young side have twice given away leads to draw against mid-table opponents.

Without injured striker Kolbeinn Sightorsson, Ajax must decide whether to play Ryan Babel as the target man or move attacking midfielder Siem de Jong further forward.

Possible teams:

Ajax Amsterdam: 1-Kenneth Vermeer; 24-Ricardo van Rhijn, 3-Toby Alderweireld, 4-Niklas Moisander, 17-Daley Blind; 8-Christian Eriksen, 5-Christian Poulsen, 10-Siem de Jong; 19-Tobias Sana, 49-Ryan Babel, 21-Derk Boerrigter

Manchester City: 1-Joe Hart, 5-Pablo Zabaleta, 4-Vincent Kompany, 6-Joleon Lescott, 22-Gael Clichy; 21-David Silva, 42-Yaya Toure, 14-Javi Garcia, 8-Samir Nasri; 16-Sergio Aguero, 10-Edin Dzeko.