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Champions League Group D preview: City aim to strike back

Manchester City’s striking options could be the difference when they travel to the Netherlands to take on Ajax Amsterdam.

Edin Dzeko has scored the most goals for the reigning English Premier League champions with six in 11 games but having only started three games the Bosnia and Herzegovina striker has developed a reputation as a super-sub.

Carlos Tevez has notched four goals, while full-back Aleksander Kolarov and midfielder Yaya Toure have contributed three each, proving that City manager Roberto Mancini has plenty of goal-scoring options from all over the pitch.

Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League match looms as a crucial game for Manchester City as they have only one draw from their opening two fixtures, while Ajax are bottom and yet to register a point.

With Group D clearly the most difficult in this season’s Champions League, Mancini’s team can ill afford anything less than victory if they are to overhaul Real Madrid or Borussia Dortmund by the end of the group stage.

Mancini has issues with his defence as Manchester City have only managed one clean sheet this season but they should have few concerns against Ajax, who have only scored one goal in Group D so far, while conceding five.

It could be another good game for Dzeko and while he remains unhappy with his bench role, he understands it perfectly.

“It’s about concentration as when you get 10 to 15 minutes, you can’t be sad or angry with the coach, I’m calm,” Dzeko told the Daily Mirror after scoring both of City’s goals in their 2-1 win over West Brom on Saturday.

In the other Group D clash, Dortmund will hope Real Madrid’s poor form in Germany will continue.

Real have lost 16 and drawn one of their 23 games away to German opposition in European continental competitions.

But Dortmund head into Wednesday’s clash on the back of a loss after Schalke knocked them off 2-1 in the Revierderby on Saturday, while Real claimed a 2-0 win against Celta de Vigo.

Tue 23 October, 2012
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