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Manchester City squad ordered in for extra training by Roberto Mancini – PICTURES

Push for the burn, Carlos! Mancini orders City squad in for extra training in hope that hard yards can help overhaul United's lead

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

17:57 GMT, 20 February 2013

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UPDATED:

17:59 GMT, 20 February 2013

Manchester City players have been put through a double training session today as Roberto Mancini bids to keep his side in the title race.

City's grip on the crown they won so spectacularly last summer is loosening at a worrying rate, and they trail rivals Manchester United by 12 points.

Wednesday's extra workout came at the expense of a Champions League knockout clash after the Premier League champions finished bottom of their group before Christmas.

Sergio Aguero, David Silva, Carlos Tevez and Maicon were among the players putting in a shift in the gym before they moved outside to challenge a specially installed steps.

You could see it was ideal preparation for the mountain City have to climb in the league.

More to follow.

That's a bit steep: Carlos Tevez leads the charge up a slope as Manchester City's squad are made to work

That's a bit steep: Carlos Tevez leads the charge up a slope as Manchester City's squad are made to work

Having fun Argentina striker Sergio Aguero manages to keep a smile up during his strength work

Having fun Argentina striker Sergio Aguero manages to keep a smile up during his strength work

On yer bikes: Midfield duo David Silva (right) and Yaya Toure put in some work at the gym

On yer bikes: Midfield duo David Silva (right) and Yaya Toure put in some work at the gym

At a stretch: Right back Pablo Zabaleta works on a mat in the gym at Carrington

At a stretch: Right back Pablo Zabaleta works on a mat in the gym at Carrington

Maicon keeps fit on the exercise bike (well, it's not as if he does much running on the pitch these days...)

Maicon keeps fit on the exercise bike (well, it's not as if he does much running on the pitch these days…)

Michael Laudrup would lead my Premier League special XI – Martin Keown

Premier League Bootroom: Laudrup's the leader of my surprise packages

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 25 December 2012

Christmas is a time for good things so I’ve picked an XI who have played exceptionally well this season. Some have received more plaudits than others but all have surprised in one way or another. And all have done something a bit special this season.

Christmas Crackers XI

Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

It was a surprise that Guzan was selected ahead of the very experienced Shay Given at the start of the season but Paul Lambert should be commended for his choice. Guzan has dealt well with the pressure of Given lurking in the background and played with real self-belief. Five clean sheets for a team that has struggled is no mean feat.

Right back Pablo Zabaleta (Man City)

He has seen off Maicon and Micah Richards to become the champions’ No 1 right back. Zabaleta is Mr Dependable. Close behind him as a surprise package is Carl Jenkinson, whose improvement for Arsenal has been amazing. His performances are not apologetic anymore and he deserves to be in the Arsenal starting XI.

Left back: Leighton Baines (Everton)

Only one candidate in this position. Everything has come together for Baines, who gets better and better each year. The precision of his decision making when he goes forward has improved. The weight and timing of his passes are excellent. Add to that his crossing and free kicks and he has to be in my side.

Must have: Leighton Baines has been superb as usual, from his crossing to his decision making

Must have: Leighton Baines has been superb as usual, from his crossing to his decision making

Centre backs: Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Sebastien Bassong (Norwich)

Vertonghen
has become the leader in Spurs’ defence. He dictates the line and has
shown great leadership to help Andre Villas-Boas implement his
high-pressing system. He is good on the ball too and has proved to be a
very good signing.

Bassong
left Spurs in the summer for Norwich and has been the key to their
improved defensive performances. He was caught ball-watching too often
at Tottenham but has been dominating as Chris Hughton’s side have kept
five clean sheets. He has also chipped in with three goals.

Midfield: Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Oscar (Chelsea), Marouane Fellaini (Everton)

Cazorla has arrived in English football and been a joy to watch. You have to admire his ambidexterity. It’s impossible to distinguish which foot is his strongest. Defences are fearful of his through passes and are now standing off him, which has seen him shoot more.

Oscar is another summer import and is a lovely footballer. He seems unperturbed by anyone around him — people try to dispossess him but they can’t. He has an effortless style, is always looking for the ball and is going to be a phenomenal player. He, more than anyone, has brought a change in Chelsea’s style of play.

Fellaini has benefited from Tim Cahill’s departure as the Belgian is now playing further forward. He brings the ball down on his chest like Niall Quinn used to — he plucks it out the air with such great control. He then uses his huge frame to protect the ball. He’s playing with extra inspiration this season and is scoring crucial goals.

Liquid: Santi Cazorla can play with either foot, is creative, clever and something special

Liquid: Santi Cazorla can play with either foot, is creative, clever and something special

Front three: Michu (Swansea), Christian Benteke (A Villa), Robin van Persie (Man Utd)

The transition Michu has made since arriving from Spain has been incredible. He keeps performing and is very cool in front of goal. Quality players find time on the pitch and he does that in the box. He has given a boost to Swansea’s attacking threat.

Benteke is so fast and powerful and has justifiably kept Darren Bent out the side. I haven’t yet seen a defender who knows how to handle him.

Van Persie was under pressure after a big-money move to United from Arsenal but he has been excellent and there seems to be a real hunger in him. He wants trophies and that motivation is helping drive the rest of the United squad.

Magic Michu: The attacker is cool as a cucumber in front of goal

Magic Michu: The attacker is cool as a cucumber in front of goal

Coach: Michael Laudrup (Swansea)

Following Brendan Rodgers was not going to be easy at the Liberty Stadium. Yes, it took the players some time to get used to his ways, but Laudrup has taken them on to another level, particularly going forward. That is no mean feat.

Another level: Michael Laudrup has driven the players forward at the Liberty Stadium

Another level: Michael Laudrup has driven the players forward at the Liberty Stadium

What's the score

Fixtures

Fixtures

Borussia Dortmund 1 Manchester City 0 – match report:

Dortmund 1 Man City 0: Mancini's men slump to another defeat and fail to make Europa League cut

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UPDATED:

22:02 GMT, 4 December 2012

Shot-shy Manchester City missed out on the consolation of a Europa League place and ended up as English football’s worst-ever performers in the Champions League group stage.

Real Madrid came to City’s aid by beating Ajax, but Roberto Mancini’s side were unable to help themselves, as they put in a limp display and went down to a 57th-minute goal from Julian Schieber.

It left City not only out of Europe, but with the lowest points total of any English side at this stage of the competition. Blackburn managed four points, including a win, in 1995-96, but City depart this season’s competition with just three.

Out of reach: Julian Schieber slid in to put Borussia Dortmund one up

Out of reach: Julian Schieber slid in to put Borussia Dortmund one up

MATCH FACTS

Borussia Dortmund: Weidenfeller, Hummels, Kirch (Bittencourt 88), Felipe Santana, Schmelzer, Leitner, Gundogan, Perisic, Reus (Blaszczykowski 46), Grosskreutz, Schieber (Lewandowski 77)

Subs not used: Langerak, Piszczek, Gunter, Mustafa Amini

Goal: Schieber 57

Manchester City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Lescott, Nastasic, Nasri (Zabaleta 68), Sinclair (Aguero 57), Garcia, Barry, Dzeko (Balotelli 65), Tevez

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Meppen-Walter, Evans, Nimely

Booked: Garcia, Lescott, Balotelli

Referee: Milorad Mazic

Attendance: 62,000

Strains of Blue Moon from the City
support before kick-off were drowned out by a rousing rendition of
You’ll Never Walk Alone, as much a favoured anthem for Borussia Dortmund
as for Liverpool.

The PA system even played Three Lions
in the build-up, and if it was an attempt to make the City contingent
feel at home, a glance at the team sheets could only have improved their
mood.

While Roberto Mancini stuck to his
promise of chasing a Europa League place with intent, Dortmund
counterpart Jurgen Klopp rested Manchester United targets Robert
Lewandowski and Mario Goetze, the latter having picked up a minor knock
on Saturday.

With David Silva left behind to nurse
hamstring and back problems, Scott Sinclair was given a rare start on
the left. Opportunities have been few and far between for the summer
signing from Swansea, and he looked eager to impress, as he wrong-footed
Oliver Kirch with a smart turn and whipped in a low cross that was
cleared.

Rubbing it in: The Dortmund players celebrated as Joe Hart looks on

Rubbing it in: The Dortmund players celebrated as Joe Hart looks on

Rare start: Scott Sinclair was handed a berth by Roberto Mancini

Rare start: Scott Sinclair was handed a berth by Roberto Mancini

If Kirch’s defending had not been of the highest order, he at least showed a surer touch at the other end in the 12th minute.

City’s defence failed to deal with a
left-wing cross from Ivan Perisic and, after controlling a bouncing ball
20 yards out, Kirch tested Joe Hart’s handling with a rising left-foot
shot. Fortunately for City, it was up to the task, as the England keeper
clutched it head high.

News of an early Real Madrid goal
against Ajax might have put an extra spring in City’s step but, as has
so often been the case this season, there was little of the zip that
made them champions last May.

Joleon Lescott was handed a chance to
shine, after largely being frozen out by Matija Nastasic. While Nastasic
had to adapt to an unfamiliar left-back role, Lescott resumed his
centre-back partnership with Vincent Kompany and showed he should
perhaps not have been left out in the first place.

Never more so than when Marco Reus
burst clear from the halfway line in the 21st minute, only for Lescott
to stop him in his tracks with an expertly timed tackle.

Rising: Javi Garcia (right) leaps for a header

Rising: Javi Garcia (right) leaps for a header

Catch me if you can: Samir Nasri is chased by two Dortmund players

Catch me if you can: Samir Nasri is chased by two Dortmund players

City were more than holding their own
in a low-key first half and threatened a breakthrough in the 24th
minute, after Edin Dzeko had pulled the ball back. Carlos Tevez was
poised for a tap-in until Marcel Schmelzer intervened.

City were finding understrength
Dortmund a tough nut to crack, for all their possession. They faced the
added frustration of a yellow card for Javi Garcia, despite claims he
took the ball cleanly from Perisic.

Dzeko had a long-range effort pushed
round a post in the 33rd minute, but the nearest thing to a first-half
goal came at the other end. Reus cut in from the right and left Nastasic
in his wake, before drilling a fierce left-foot shot that had Hart at
full stretch.

Welcome back: Edin Dzeko (left) was back in Germany again after leaving Wolfsburg

Welcome back: Edin Dzeko (left) was back in Germany again after leaving Wolfsburg

The decision to award a goal-kick suggested the ball may have clipped the outside of the post rather than Hart’s fingertips.

If City lacked a killer touch in the
first half, the same applied to Dzeko’s unconvincing attempt to finish
off an inviting cross from Samir Nasri in the 46th minute. The
inswinging centre was measured to perfection, and Dzeko was barely six
yards from goal, yet his header was too close to Weidenfeller to cause
problems.

City began to suffer and Perisic
connected brilliantly with a cross from substitute Jakub Blaszczykowski
to unleash a 53rd-minute volley that a startled Hart just managed to
palm over the bar.

The pressure told in the 57th minute,
as City went behind to a close-range Schieber finish. Blaszczykowski
squared the ball and Schieber was on hand to force in.

Tussle: Mario Balotelli tries to shake off Marcel Schmelzer

Tussle: Mario Balotelli tries to shake off Marcel Schmelzer

Impressive: Dortmund fans held yellow and black cards to show the club's logo before the match

Impressive: Dortmund fans held yellow and black cards to show the club's logo before the match

Edin Dzeko urges patched up Manchester City to salvage Euro campaign

Dzeko urges patched up Man City to seize chance and rescue Euro campaign

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UPDATED:

10:08 GMT, 4 December 2012

Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko hopes the team can shrug off the absence of key players to salvage something from their dismal European campaign.

City cannot reach the Champions League knockout stages and have just a consolation spot in the Europa League to aim for as they head into their final Group D game against Borussia Dortmund.

Main man: City striker Edin Dzeko

Main man: City striker Edin Dzeko

The English champions need to win in Germany to have any chance of achieving even that and they must do so without the inspirational pair of Yaya Toure and David Silva.

Toure is taking an enforced break ahead of Sunday's eagerly-anticipated derby against Manchester United through suspension while playmaker Silva did not travel due to a hamstring injury.

Midfielder James Milner and left-backs Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov are also injured for the clash at the Westfalenstadion.

Dzeko said: 'We still have a chance to play in the Europa League.

'We will do our best to try to win because only if we win can we continue in the Europa League.

'It won't be easy and we have a few players missing but we will do our best because everything is possible in football.

'In the Champions League we didn't play like we wanted, I think in the Premier League we are playing very good.

City players on the pitch in Dortmund

Getting ready: City players on the pitch in Dortmund

Team photo: Maicon (right) takes a picture

Team photo: Maicon (right) takes a picture

'We haven't lost any games and I hope we will continue like that.

'If we can play in the Europa League that would be good for us.'

Silva could be doubtful for the United clash at the Etihad Stadium, when top spot in the Barclays Premier League as well as local pride will be at stake.

Manager Roberto Mancini said: 'We don't know if he can recover for the derby. We will try.'

While changes to the team are likely in Dortmund, Mancini insists the looming derby has not affected his preparations.

He said: 'We are a good team. We are a good club. We want to play well and try to win.

'We have brought here all the players that are available. The other players that stay at home are injured.

Upbeat: City boss Roberto Mancini

Upbeat: City boss Roberto Mancini

Bright sparks: Dortmund train in the dark

Under cover: Dortmund train in the dark

'The players that are here will do everything to win this game.

'It will be difficult because I think in this moment Borussia are one of the best teams in Europe.'

There is a feeling in some quarters that City might be better served in their title defence now by being out of Europe altogether.

Mancini acknowledges the second-tier competition would present difficulties but knows a good run in it could improve the club's ranking when it comes to seedings.

The Italian said: 'It could be difficult because in the Europa League you play Thursdays and you don't have a lot of days to recover for the Premier League, but we need to try to stay in Europa League.'

Paul Lambert fumes at officials over penalty award

Lambert left fuming by dubious penalty award before champions open floodgates

PUBLISHED:

19:09 GMT, 17 November 2012

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UPDATED:

19:09 GMT, 17 November 2012

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert railed against the officials after his side crashed to a 5-0 defeat at Manchester City.

Villa were only trailing 1-0 to the Barclays Premier League champions at the Etihad Stadium when the hosts were awarded a controversial penalty early in the second half.

The visitors were mystified when referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot, having spotted a flag from his assistant, as David Silva swung a corner into the box.

Up you get: David Silva (left) celebrates with Carlos Tevez (right) after the goal

Up you get: David Silva (left) celebrates with Carlos Tevez (right) after the goal

MATCH FACTS

Manchester City: Hart, Maicon, Kompany, Clichy (Kolarov 73), Nastasic, Nasri, Barry, Silva (Sinclair 76), Y Toure, Aguero (Dzeko 69), Tevez

Subs not used: Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Lescott, Sinclair, Garcia

Goals: Silva 43, Aguero 54 pen, 67, Tevez 65 pen, 74

Aston Villa: Guzan, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens, Lowton, Ireland (Albrighton 62), Westwood, Bannan, Agbonlahor, Benteke (Bowery 83), Weimann (Holman 62),

Subs not used: Given, Baker, El Ahmadi, Delph

Booked: Bannan

The latest Premier League table, fixtures and results

It transpired Andreas Weimann had
been penalised for handball as he leapt to reach the cross but the
debate over what proved the game's major turning point raged for some
time.

Lambert said: 'That's never a handball. What the linesman saw there I do not know.

'You have got to be 100% sure to give that and he saw something I think 50,000 other people never saw.'

Lambert added there was 'no point' complaining to the referee.

He said: 'We, as managers, are always hauled up – but that is a woeful decision.

'I haven't clue what he saw. It might not have changed the game but we certainly had a foothold in it.'

City took full advantage of the
controversy as Sergio Aguero struck from the spot and then added another
after Carlos Tevez had scored a second penalty.

Dynamic duo: Tevez's Argentina team-mate Sergio Aguero also got in on the act

Dynamic duo: Tevez's Argentina team-mate Sergio Aguero also got in on the act

Class act: David Silva scored on the stroke of half-time to get the ball rolling for City

Class act: David Silva scored on the stroke of half-time to get the ball rolling for City

Quids in! Tevez scored two on the day, including one from the spot

Quids in! Tevez scored two on the day, including one from the spot

Tevez wrapped up the scoring with
his second of the afternoon. The first penalty was not the only decision
which bothered Lambert, who also felt there had been an infringement in
the build-up to David Silva's first-half opener.

Flashpoint: Paul Lambert (left) speaks with fourth official Mark Halsey (right)

Flashpoint: Paul Lambert (left) speaks with fourth official Mark Halsey (right)

Lambert said: 'Even with the first
goal, there might have been a case of dangerous play with the overhead
kick in the penalty area.

'You just never know. I thought Joe Hart made a brilliant save to keep out Christian Benteke's header.

'We were well in the game – we had a
foothold in it and that is a big thing coming here. But the penalty was
a really shocking decision.'

Dominated: Yaya Toure (left) bossed the midfield for Manchester City

Dominated: Yaya Toure (left) bossed the midfield for Manchester City

You again: Edin Dzeko (right) replaced Aguero, but was unable to grab a customary goal

You again: Edin Dzeko (right) replaced Aguero, but was unable to grab a customary goal

Despite the issues, City ultimately won convincingly, much to the relief of their manager Roberto Mancini.

City's form has been under scrutiny
but they remain unbeaten in the competition and are well on course in
their title defence. Mancini said: “I am very satisfied with this
performance.

'In the first half we played well created a lot of chances but we were too soft when we had chances to score.

'But we played well and this is the most important thing.

Brazilian connection: Maicon (left) chases Gabby Agbonlahor (right)

Brazilian connection: Maicon (left) chases Gabby Agbonlahor (right)

Sneaking it in: Aguero's deflected shot left Guzan stranded before it hit the back of the net

Sneaking it in: Aguero's deflected shot left Guzan stranded before it hit the back of the net

Job done: Tevez, Silva and Samir Nasri celebrate when City were well on their way to victory

Job done: Tevez, Silva and Samir Nasri celebrate when City were well on their way to victory

'In the last two games I think we changed something. In our mind we found a good spirit, like last year.

'For us it is very important we start
to play well and in the last two games we have scored six goals with
our strikers. I think we have been missing their goals.'

Mancini also praised Hart, whose
form has been questioned in recent weeks and criticism increased after
his display in England's midweek friendly loss in Sweden.

Mancini said: 'This is his job. He
received criticism from you (press) after the international game, but
this is part of our life.

No chance: Aguero rifled his penalty past Brad Guzan

No chance: Aguero rifled his penalty past Brad Guzan

Are you kidding Andreas Weimann and Barry Bannan were incredulous after Jonathan Moss gave the first penalty

Are you kidding Andreas Weimann and Barry Bannan were incredulous after Jonathan Moss gave the first penalty

'Sometimes you can do well, sometimes you can do bad games.

'But it is important to have very
strong characters in this situation. Today he saved in the first half
(in) an important situation.'

Mancini confirmed striker Mario
Balotelli, who was absent from the matchday squad for a second
successive week, had suffered a back injury in training.

He said: 'Yesterday in the training session he had a problem in his back and said he couldn't play.'

Manchester City need four Champions League wins -Joleon Lescott

Lescott admits City need four wins to qualify for Champions League quarter-finals

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 22 October 2012

Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott believes his team will have to win all four of their remaining Champions League games if they are to qualify for the knockout stage for the first time.

City head to Amsterdam on Tuesday to face Ajax the following night in a game Roberto Mancini's team really must win if they are to put an opening defeat at Real Madrid and a home draw with Borussia Dortmund behind them.

With Ajax due to visit the City of Manchester Stadium on November 6, it is generally accepted that the Barclays Premier League champions will need to win the two games against the Dutch champions to get back in the hunt.

In it to win it: Joleon Lescott believes Manchester City need four victories

In it to win it: Joleon Lescott believes Manchester City need four victories

England defender Lescott feels they will have to do more than that, though, if they are not to repeat last season's disappointing group stage exit.

Lescott said: 'People are going to say the next two games are must wins for us.

'But I think every game from now until the end of the group stage is a must win.

'We can't rely on other people to get results for us like last year.'

City fly to Amsterdam with Mancini having decided to break with his usual routine of training in Manchester before departure.

City will actually train at the Amsterdam Arena in the hope that it will help them break a run of just one European away win in their last five attempts.

Lucky escape: City came from behind to beat West Brom on Saturday

Lucky escape: City came from behind to beat West Brom on Saturday

Mancini will be without winger David Silva, midfielder Javi Garcia and defender Maicon, who are all injured. Captain Vincent Kompany also has an ongoing calf niggle.

Despite City coach Brian Kidd rather bizarrely claiming that Silva may be able to face Ajax, it can be revealed that the mercurial winger is actually back in Spain working with his favourite physio and is not expected to return to England until the weekend.

As such, Silva is certainly out of Saturday's Barclays Premier League game at home to Swansea and in all likelihood the following weekend's fixture at West Ham United. His main target is to try and get fit for the return game with Ajax that could be crucial to City's Champions League prospects.

Having come from behind to score two goals to win 2-1 at West Brom on Saturday, City are not low on confidence at the moment.

Blow: David Silva will miss City's vital clash with Ajax in Amsterdam

Blow: David Silva will miss City's vital clash with Ajax in Amsterdam

And Lescott admitted that the club have finally managed to learn from the never-say-die approach of neighbours United.

He added: 'Everyone knows we are a good footballing side.

'But when we need to dig in and be together we can do that. We showed that on Saturday.

'If we can take something from our neighbours and use it to benefit us then great.

'We showed a different side to us; we never know when we are beaten and have strength in depth in the squad.'

David Silva out of Ajax clash, in Spain undergoing physiotherapy

Silva OUT of Ajax clash as City star jets to Spain for treatment on hamstring

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UPDATED:

16:02 GMT, 22 October 2012

Manchester City star David Silva has flown home for a week of intense physiotherapy in Spain as he tries to recover from a hamstring injury in time for crucial games in the weeks to come.

City coach Brian Kidd rather bizarrely claimed that Silva may be able to face Ajax in Wednesday night's Champions League tie in Amsterdam.

However it can be revealed that the mercurial winger is actually back in Spain working with his favourite physio and is not expected to return to England until the weekend.

Rehabilitation: Silva is back in Spain receiving physiotherapy treatment

Rehabilitation: Silva is back in Spain receiving physiotherapy treatment

As such, Silva is certainly out of Saturday's Barclays Premier League game at home to Swansea and in all likelihood the following weekend's fixture at West Ham United.

Indeed, as revealed by Sportsmail Online last week, Silva's main target is to try and get fit for the return game with Ajax that could be crucial to City’s Champions League prospects on November 6.

Silva injured his hamstring early in Spain’s international with France last week.

City, meanwhile, will also fly out to Holland on Tuesday morning without midfielder Javi Garcia and defender Maicon, who are also injured.

Captain Vincent Kompany is continuing to play despite not having fully recovered from a calf niggle that has bothered him for some time.

City have only one point from their opening two Champions League matches, having lost 3-2 at Real Madrid and drawn rather fortuitously at home to German champions Borussia Dortmund.

Down and out: Silva will miss a number of key clashes for his club

Down and out: Silva will miss a number of key clashes for his club

David Silva set for Manchester return against Ajax

Silva service for Mancini with Spanish star set to return for crunch Ajax clash

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UPDATED:

07:54 GMT, 22 October 2012

David Silva could make a sensational recovery and return to Manchester City's starting XI for their crunch Champions League clash against Ajax.

The Spanish playmaker suffered a hamstring problem while on international duty last week and it was feared he would miss Wednesday's game in Amsterdam.

But after scans revealed the injury was not bad as initially thought, Silva has made a remarkable return to fitness and City assistant boss Brian Kidd is now hopeful the 26-year-old will now start against the Dutch giants.

Silva lining: City playmaker could return to action against Ajax on Wednesday

Silva lining: City playmaker could return to action against Ajax on Wednesday

‘With David, we don’t know how long he’ll be out for,’ he said.

‘I think they are looking at him thinking he might be in with a chance of playing against Ajax.

'With a couple of days for it to settle down, we will get a better picture.'

Roberto Mancini's side have made a stuttering start to their European campaign. They surrendered a lead late-on to lose their opening tie against Real Madrid while they were held at home to Borussia Dortmund.

Wednesday's visit to the Amsterdam Arena could come too soon for summer recruits Maicon and Javi Garcia, however, with the pair battling to return from injuries.

Kidd added: ‘Javi Garcia and Maicon [other injury doubts].

'They have done a little bit of training but we hope the next couple of dates will bring them on.’

David Silva injured for Manchester City v Ajax

EXCLUSIVE: Silva set to miss City's clash with Ajax with hamstring injury

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UPDATED:

16:54 GMT, 17 October 2012

Manchester City winger David Silva will have a scan on his injured hamstring on Thursday but is almost certainly out of next Wednesday's crucial Champions League game at Ajax.

Silva, 26, pulled up early in Spain's draw with France on Tuesday and delayed his flight back to Manchester so that he could spend the day receiving ice treatment on his damaged muscle.

But he was due back in England on Wednesday night and will have a scan on Thursday with initial estimates putting his expected absence at two to three weeks.

Limped out: Silva is clearly in pain after suffering an injury during Spain's clash with France

Limped out: Silva is clearly in pain after suffering an injury during Spain's clash with France

If his comeback is delayed, he could miss both Ajax games, with the return leg at home on November 6.

City's two league fixtures during this time are away to West Brom and at home to Swansea.

Two other key players are currently injured, Brazilian full back Maicon and midfielder Javi Garcia.

Game over: Silva wasn't able to carry on after just 10 minutes of the World Cup qualifier

Game over: Silva wasn't able to carry on after just 10 minutes of the World Cup qualifier

Silva has missed just one match for City so far this season after he was rested for the Carling Cup clash with Aston Villa.

His injury came on a frustrating
night for the defending champions who saw their slender lead cancelled
out deep into stoppage time by Arsenal; striker Olivier Giroud.

Game over: Silva wasn't able to carry on after just 10 minutes of the World Cup qualifier

Cesc Fabregas also missed a penalty – saved by Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

The draw means that both sides remain locked together at the top of Group I with seven points from three games.

Midfield master: Silva's absence will be keenly felt at the heart of the City side

Midfield master: Silva's absence will be keenly felt at the heart of the City side

Micah Richards to return to training with Manchester City

Richards boost for Mancini with Man City defender poised to return to training

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UPDATED:

22:09 GMT, 4 October 2012

Micah Richards is almost ready to return to action with Manchester City.

The defender has not played since injuring his ankle playing for Team GB against South Korea during the Olympic Games.

But Richards will take part in
first-team training next week, giving manager Roberto Mancini a lift
going into the international break.

Road to recovery: Richards is set to rejoin his City team-mates in training

Road to recovery: Richards is set to rejoin his City team-mates in training

If there is no adverse reaction, Richards could be in line for a recall against West Bromwich Albion when the Premier League resumes on October 20.

Richards, 24, will have a fight on his hands to regain his right-back slot, with Pablo Zabaleta and Maicon vying for the position. Mancini could also play the England man at centre back.