Thursday 19 October 2017

Playmaker Silva to miss City's Amsterdam trip

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City will travel to Amsterdam for tomorrow's Champions League clash against Ajax without Spanish midfielder David Silva, as manager Roberto Mancini faces selection dilemmas in defence and up front.

Assistant manager Brian Kidd had floated the possibility of Silva's involvement in the Amsterdam Arena despite a hamstring injury.

"I think they are looking at him, thinking he might be in with a chance of playing on against Ajax," City's assistant manager said yesterday morning ahead of further tests. But Silva (right) will instead go back to Spain for recovery work, and will also, at least, miss Saturday's game with Swansea City.

City's creative abilities will be severely hampered by Silva's absence. James Milner and Samir Nasri are likely to be chosen in wide areas. Milner has not played one minute in either of City's Champions League games so far this season while Nasri was replaced after 37 minutes and 57 minutes against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund respectively.

In both of their group games so far City have been rather outplayed, with only Joe Hart's heroics and Mario Balotelli's injury-time penalty salvaging a home point against Dortmund earlier this month.

If Mancini is to get City out of Group D, he will probably need six points from the two games against the Dutch champions.

Maicon and Javi Garcia, both of whom started and struggled in Madrid, are also out through injury.

Mancini will have to choose between Pablo Zabaleta and Micah Richards at right-back, while he may pick Joleon Lescott ahead of Matija Nastasic at centre-half for the first time in Europe this season.

Edin Dzeko is City's top scorer this season with six goals, despite having started just three of City's 12 games in all competitions. (© Independent News Service)

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