City seek to prevent Ajax repeat

Manchester City FC are struggling in Group D but a long unbeaten home record gives cause for optimism as AFC Ajax aim for a second victory on Mancunian soil in 2012.

Ajax celebrate beating City on matchday three
Ajax celebrate beating City on matchday three ©Getty Images

Manchester City FC may have scraped a draw with Borussia Dortmund in their last home outing but their record suggests AFC Ajax will have their work cut out to take anything from the teams' matchday four fixture.

• City have won 14 and drawn four home matches in UEFA competition since September 2008, although Ajax can take heart from both their 3-1 matchday three defeat of City and having won at Manchester United FC just over eight months ago.

Match background
• City are hosting Dutch opposition for the third time having twice got the better of FC Twente. They won 3-2 to secure a 4-3 aggregate success in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup first round, with Brian Kidd, now first-team coach, scoring the second goal. The score was the same when the clubs met again in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage – the only survivors from that game in City's squad are Joe Hart, Micah Richards and Pablo Zabaleta.

• Mario Balotelli's late penalty equaliser against Dortmund on matchday two means City have still not lost a European home tie since a 1-0 reverse against FC Midtjylland in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup second qualifying round. They remain unbeaten at home in the European Cup, albeit having played only five matches to date, their brief 1968/69 campaign included.

• Ajax ended a 40-year wait for an away victory over English opponents when beating City's neighbours United 2-1 in last season's UEFA Europa League round of 32. Aras Özbiliz (37) and Toby Alderweireld (87) secured a 2-1 victory although it failed to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit.

• Ajax's overall record away to English sides is W2 D4 L4. Their only other success was a 1-0 victory at Arsenal FC in the 1971/72 European Champion Clubs' Cup quarter-finals, though they did win their first European Cup final at Wembley against Panathinaikos FC in 1971.

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 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. He scored in the Netherlands' 4-1 defeat of Aleksandr Kolarov's Serbia in the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Championship final.

• Alderweireld, alongside Vincent Kompany, helped Belgium to a 3-0 win at a Serbia side including Kolarov and Matija Nastasić in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier on 12 October.

• 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.

• 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 side.

• 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.

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