CHAMPIONS LEAGUE LIVE: Manchester City v Ajax and Schalke v Arsenal – as it happens
19:50 GMT, 6 November 2012
Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Champions League as Manchester City and Arsenal hope to bounce back from defeats suffered in their last group stage matches. City will be desperate to record a win against Ajax and keep their hopes of progressing to the last 16 alive, while Arsenal will look for revenge at Schalke after losing 2-0 to the German outfit at the Emirates Stadium last time out. Send me your thoughts on the action to email@example.com or via Twitter @Ripinho.
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Manchester City v Ajax
Schalke v Arsenal
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19.48: Manchester City start with a positive attacking purpose, and despite a few empty seats, it's a good atmosphere inside the Etihad Stadium to cheer them on.
19.45: Away we go in both matches.
19.42: The players are out at the Veltins Arena and at the Etihad Stadium – the Gunners are in their change yellow strip while Ajax also are in their away kit which is splashed with fluorescent green.
19.39: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini spoke to ITV before the game:
'We can't concede and need to score and play very good football. I believe in my players because I am sure we have a strong team.
'Against Ajax when we were 1-0 we had two or three chances to close the game. In the Champions League you can lose this just like against Real Madrid. Against Borussia we didn't play well.
'The players don't need my passion they just need to play well.'
19.36: Time for some predictions from me, and I'm going for a positive spin tonight:
Manchester City 2-1 Ajax
Schalke 0-1 Arsenal
We meet again: City manager Roberto Mancini (right) greets Ajax boss Frank De Boer before the game
19.33: According to InfostradaLive there are another two teams that can qualify this evening, with Malaga and Porto only needing draws away at AC Milan and Dynamo Kiev respectively. Again that sounds far from easy.
19.30: In an identical points situation to Arsenal's group, there is one side that can progress from Manchester City's Group D this evening – and it's not Real Madrid.
Borussia Dortmund will guarantee progress to the last 16 with three points tonight, but that is easier said than done at the Bernabeu for the visiting team.
19.27: Interesting insight from Wenger on Theo Walcott's role at the club.
Asked by Sky Sports whether the forward's exclusion from the Arsenal starting XI in recent times was to do with injury of the refusal to sign a new contract, the Gunners boss quickly replied by saying he is still building match fitness following an injury. Well dodged, Arsene.
19.24: So Manchester City fans, how do you fancy your team's chances this evening and beyond in this competition
If you need some encouragement then I will point you in the direction of the Champions League's greatest comebacks by clicking here.
Newcastle have the greatest, but seven times before a team has picked up one point from three games and made it through. As Bon Jovi would say, keep the faith.
19.21: From InfostradaLive:
Dinamo Zagreb are first team to start with 11 Domestic players since Steaua Bucharest six years ago in Nov 2006 vs Real Madrid.
19.18: Roberto Mancini opts for an all-Argentinian attack of Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez for tonight's crucial Champions League Group D clash against Ajax.
Midfielder Javi Garcia comes in for his first start in a month and fit-again Pablo Zabaleta returns at right-back as City seek their first win of the competition.
Injuries restrict Mancini's selections and the manager includes 18-year-old defender Courtney Meppen-Walter among his substitutes at the Etihad Stadium.
Ajax make one change from the side which beat City 3-1 in Amsterdam a fortnight ago with forward Derk Boerrigter replacing Tobias Sana.
Ready and waiting: Ajax players train at the Etihad Stadium on the eve of their clash against Manchester City
19.15: From Sportsmail's Sami Mokbel:
Big big night for Theo Walcott here in Gelsenkirchen. Starts 1st Champions League game of the season. Major call by Wenger.
19.12: Another boost for Arsenal this evening comes down on the touchline.
Arsene Wenger has completed his three-match ban and the manager's return down in the dugout will be a boost for the visitors.
19.09: Full line-ups from the Etihad Stadium:
Man City v Ajax
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Javi Garcia, Barry, Nasri, Toure, Aguero, Tevez. Subs: Pantilimon, Maicon, Dzeko, Sinclair, Kolarov, Balotelli, Meppen-Walter.
Ajax: Vermeer, Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind, De Jong, Poulsen, Schone, Boerrigter, Eriksen, Babel. Subs: Cillessen, Enoh, Sana, Veltman, Denswil, Dijks, Fischer.
Referee: Peter Rasmussen (Denmark)
19.06: Arsene Wenger drop under-fire Andre Santos for Arsenal's Champions League clash with Schalke this evening.
The Brazil left-back has been under the spotlight since swapping shirts with Robin van Persie at half-time of Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Manchester United and is replaced in the starting line-up by Laurent Koscielny.
Theo Walcott overcomes illness and comes in for the injured Aaron Ramsey in Arsenal's only other change, while Schalke name the same side that lost 3-2 at Hoffenheim despite manager Huub Stevens hinting at changes before the game.
19.03: I only have bad memories of the Veltins Arena, as this was the stadium where England crashed out of the 2006 World Cup on penalties against Portugal.
It was 0-0 back then but I can't see a repeat scoreline this evening – especially with the German outfit knowing three points will seal their spot in the last 16.
Overcoming hurdles: Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar trains ahead of the clash against Arsenal
19.00: The full line-ups from the Veltins Arena:
Schalke 04 v Arsenal
Schalke 04: Unnerstall, Uchida, Howedes, Matip, Fuchs, Jones, Neustadter, Farfan, Holtby, Afellay, Huntelaar. Subs: Hildebrand, Marica, Hoger, Papadopoulos, Moritz, Draxler, Kolasinac.
Arsenal: Mannone, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Arteta, Wilshere, Walcott, Cazorla, Podolski, Giroud. Subs: Shea, Andre Santos, Djourou, Coquelin, Arshavin, Jenkinson, Chamakh.
Referee: Nicola Rizzoli (Italy)
18.57: Early news for Arsenal is that Theo Walcott and Laurent Koscielny will start in place of Aaron Ramsey and Andre Santos.
The former's inclusion shows a sign of attacking intent from Arsene Wenger – which is good for all of us who fancy an entertaining game of football this evening.
18.54: Of course it's not just Manchester City in action as Arsenal also feature tonight.
They require more of a kick up the backside than an inspired comeback at this stage but another defeat against Schalke this evening and it could be a nervous outlook for the Gunners in Group B.
18.51: Ajax starting XI:
Vermeer, Van Rhijn, Alderweireld, Moisander, Blind, Schone, Poulsen, De Jong, Boerrigter, Eriksen, Babel.
18.48: Manchester City starting XI:
Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Clichy, Garcia, Barry, Yaya Toure, Nasri, Tevez, Aguero.
18.45: The fightback starts here…or more specifically the Etihad Stadium. Well hopefully it does anyway as all we've seen Manchester City do is struggle in the last few weeks.
That includes a 3-1 loss at tonight's opponents, Ajax. Roberto Mancini's side are capable of stepping up their game though and they will need to tonight if they want to defeat a talented Dutch side and keep their Champions League hopes alive too. Team news coming right up.
Staring down the barrel: Manchester City's Champions League hopes hang by a thread after a 3-1 defeat at Ajax last month left them with just one point from their opening three group games