Manchester City are now in a situation where they likely need to win all three of their remaining matches to have a chance to progress to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League. Roberto Mancini's failure to adapt his tactics against a Napoli side with clear matchup advantages caused his team to exit last year's competition early, but this year's problems seem to have come as a result of over-tinkering with his team's formation and personnel.
On the last matchday, Ajax stunned City by ripping apart their makeshift back three, shortly after Mancini made an in-game change. It seems he's learned his lesson, and his side has performed much better in the league since that day, but Ajax will feel like they have every chance to grab a point at Eastlands and end the Citizens' hopes of going through.
Ajax are coming off a bad loss to Vitesse, and their fans are hoping that their performance can be chalked up to looking ahead to this match. If Ajax are actually worse than a team headlined by three Chelsea youth stars who were considered not ready for Premier League football, they'll probably struggle away to City.
Manchester City injuries and suspensions
Ajax injuries and suspensions
Out: Nicolai Boilesen, Kolbeinn Sigthórsson, Thulani Serero, Davy Klaassen, Jody Lukoki
Ajax are still without a number of long-term absentees, and with the exception of their win over City on the last matchday, the loss of Sigthorsson has hurt them significantly. Micah Richards will be out for the new year until City, while Silva is nearing his return from a hamstring injury. Milner isn't a massive loss if he can't play due to City's depth in midfield, but Ajax will like their chances to score if Lescott is unable to play.
Match date/time: Tuesday, 7:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Ethiad Stadium, Manchester, England
TV: FOX Soccer (U.S.), ITV 1 (U.K.), Sportsnet Regional networks (Canada), Sport1 Select (Netherlands)