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Ajax and City have no margin for error

Published: Monday 8 October 2012, 9.45CET
Still both winless in Group D, AFC Ajax and Manchester City FC will each feel it is time to deliver when they meet for the first time at the Amsterdam ArenA on matchday three.
Ajax and City have no margin for error
Ajax will host Manchester City for the first time on matchday three, with both teams feeling the heat ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 8 October 2012, 9.45CET

Ajax and City have no margin for error

Still both winless in Group D, AFC Ajax and Manchester City FC will each feel it is time to deliver when they meet for the first time at the Amsterdam ArenA on matchday three.

AFC Ajax and Manchester City FC know there is no margin for error when they meet for the first time in Amsterdam on matchday three.

• Both clubs are still looking for a first win in a highly competitive Group D and another slip-up could deal a costly blow to their UEFA Champions League ambitions.

Match background
• Already beaten by Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid CF, bottom-placed Ajax are seeking a first home victory over English opposition since 1980, when they beat Nottingham Forest FC 1-0 in the second leg of the 1979/80 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-finals. Brian Clough's men had won the first encounter 2-0.

• The Amsterdam club have lost three and drawn one of four games against English visitors since. Most recent was a 2-0 home reverse against Manchester United FC in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League round of 32 which meant their subsequent 2-1 success at Old Trafford, courtesy of Toby Alderweireld's late strike, was in vain.

• Newcomers to the UEFA Champions League last term, City have lost three of their four away games to date, going down 3-2 to Madrid on matchday one this season.

• City's only previous trip to the Netherlands yielded a 1-1 draw at FC Twente in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup first round. They beat Twente 3-2 in the ensuing home leg and won by the same score when the clubs met again in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage. The only survivors from that latter game are Joe Hart, Micah Richards and Pablo Zabaleta.

Team ties
• Ajax coach Frank de Boer made his international debut in September 1990 in the Netherlands' 1-0 defeat in Palermo against an Italy side for whom Roberto Mancini, his City counterpart, appeared as a 55th-minute substitute. Ajax assistant coach Dennis Bergkamp featured as a Dutch substitute.

• Mancini's FC Internazionale Milano got the better of Ajax in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League round of 16. Inter came from two down to draw 2-2 in Amsterdam before prevailing 1-0 at San Siro against an Ajax side including substitute Ryan Babel.

• Bergkamp's record against City as an Arsenal FC player was played nine, won nine.

• As a Liverpool FC player from 2007 to 2011, Babel faced City six times, winning once and losing once without scoring himself. He did find the net in the Netherlands' 4-1 defeat of Aleksandr Kolarov's Serbia in the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Championship final.

• Christian Poulsen spent 2010/11 at Liverpool, making 12 league appearances.

• Daniel Hoesen joined Ajax from Fulham FC this summer, having not made a single Premier League appearance.

• John Guidetti spent 2011/12 on loan at Feyenoord, scoring 20 goals in 23 league appearances, and hit a hat-trick against Ajax in a 4-2 home victory on 29 January.

• Four years ago, on 23 October, Gareth Barry struck Aston Villa FC's winner past Kenneth Vermeer in a 2-1 home success against Ajax in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage. James Milner was also in the Villa team.

• Zabaleta was a 72nd-minute substitute in RCD Espanyol's 2-0 victory at Ajax in the 2006/07 UEFA Cup group stage.

• Gaël Clichy was an 88th-minute substitute in Arsenal's 2-1 triumph at Ajax in the 2005/06 group stage.

• Sergio Agüero helped Club Atlético de Madrid to home and away wins against PSV Eindhoven in the 2008/09 group stage, scoring twice in a 3-0 victory in his only previous UEFA competition assignment on Dutch soil.

• Maicon scored in AS Monaco FC's 3-1 win at Willem II in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup first round.

• Christian Eriksen and Poulsen faced Hart, Barry and Milner in Denmark's 2-1 loss to England in February 2011.

• Vincent Kompany is a defensive colleague of Alderweireld for Belgium.

• Miralem Sulejmani is a Serbia team-mate of Kolarov and Matija Nastasić.

FARE Action Week
• Matchday three of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League will contribute to the fight against all forms of discrimination in football stadiums as UEFA gives its full support to Europe's biggest anti-discrimination campaign – the FARE Action Week. Forty matches across the competitions on 23, 24 and 25 October will restate UEFA's commitment to ensuring that European football is free of racism, intolerance and xenophobia.

Last updated: 22/10/12 15.58CET

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