PARIS - Manchester City will be out to show they have learned from last season's mistakes when the English Premier League titleholders travel to face Ajax tomorrow with their Champions League ambitions hanging in the balance.
As tournament debutants a year ago, City had the misfortune to be drawn in the same group as experienced campaigners and eventual finalists Bayern Munich as well as a gifted if volatile Napoli of Italy.
Although Roberto Mancini's men garnered ten points — normally enough to progress from the groups — defeats on the road to both rivals ensured an early exit. This time around, lightning has struck again in that Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund pose arguably even bigger obstacles in a Group C exclusively containing champions of four top leagues.
City are off to a poor start again, following up a last-gasp loss in the Bernabeu with a fortuitous home draw with Dortmund.
A win in Amsterdam is vital to City's hopes as they look to chase down what is already a five-point deficit to Real and three to Dortmund.
The Blues hope Spanish star David Silva may recover to play a part following hamstring trouble, assistant manager Brian Kidd said.
Kidd said medical staff were "looking at him thinking he might be in with a chance of playing on Wednesday against Ajax. With a couple of days for it to settle down, we will get a better picture."
With six points in their pockets already after getting out of jail against City, Real will be feeling they have the group by the throat when they face Dortmund.
Coach Jose Mourinho is keen to end the side's decade-long Champions League drought, not least as that achievement would make him the first man to coach three different teams to glory.