But City have home record on their side, having gone unbeaten at the Etihad for over a year, Ajax have their work out against the English champions. But the Dutch champions will be confident after beating their Match Day 3 opponents at the Amsterdam Arena.
City are currently last in group D with just one point and another loss could send them crashing out of the group stages for the second successive time.
For City, Micah Richards remains a long time absentee with a serious knee injury while Maicon is still sidelined due to an ankle injury. Pablo Zabaleta could start at right-back after returning to the bench.
James Milner will miss out along with centre-back Joleon Lescott while Spanish playmaker David Silva and Jack Rodwell are still ruled out.
Ajax are likely to retain the same XI which beat City 3-1 in the reverse fixture. Niklas Moisander returns to the team after domestic suspension.
*Manchester City have collected a single point in three games with one draw and two losses.
*Ajax beat Manchester City rivals Manchester United 2-1 last season at Old Trafford during the Europa League round of 32.
Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart-Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy-Yaya Toure, Barry-Nasri, Tevez, Balotelli-Aguero.
Ajax (4-3-3): Vermeer-Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind-Schone, Poulsen, De Jong-Sana, Eriksen, Babel.