MANCHESTER — Manchester City’s struggle to transfer their Premier League form to the Champions League will come into focus again today 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 light the touch paper in this year’s competition and occupy third place in Group D with a solitary 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 come home empty-handed from today’s encounter with Ajax who are bottom having lost their first two matches.
For a team that has been hand-picked by a manager given almost infinite resources, City have underwhelmed in Europe’s elite competition. 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 this campaign.
Mancini’s principal headache will be deciding who to play up front after Edin Dzeko, who has been used mostly as an impact substitute this season, came off the bench on Saturday to rescue his team with two goals in a 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion. —Supersport