Man City face first big test

Man City face first big test

Big-spenders take on Bayern; Real face tricky clash against Ajax

The game is one of the most intriguing of Matchday Two which also sees holders Barcelona travel to BATE Borisov in Belarus and 2010 champions Inter Milan going to CSKA Moscow as they seek to kick-start their season under new coach Claudio Ranieri.

Like Bayern, Barcelona and Inter, Real Madrid and Ajax Amsterdam are established members of the European soccer aristocracy and they meet in a fascinating game at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, last season's runners-up Manchester United will look for their first win of the embryonic campaign against Basel of Switzerland while AC Milan take on Czech newcomers Viktoria Plzen.

United strikers Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez will miss the clash. Rooney missed Saturday's 1-1 draw with Stoke City in the Premier League after injuring his hamstring in training, while his usual strike partner Hernandez was forced off early in the match with a dead leg.

Defenders Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling will also miss the home match at Old Trafford.
Bayern's clash with Manchester City symbolises what this comnpetition is all about; a clash of current European powerhouses on one level, and a clash of Old Money vs New Money on another.

There are strong soccer links between the cities of Munich and Manchester, but they have been built entirely between United and Munich dating back to the 1958 Munich Air Crash when United's plane crashed on take-off, resulting in 23 deaths including those of eight United players.

But while Bayern have strong links with Old Trafford, having played United nine times in all, they have never met City before and their relationship has not started in the most friendly way.

There was some ill-feeling over the summer transfer of Jerome Boateng from City to Bayern, and Bayern's outspoken chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says City were bailed out by their owners having accrued debts of 140.0 million euros. City manager Roberto Mancini responded by saying: “People are mistaken about Manchester City.

Everyone says we have spent a lot of money but so what? To us, it isn't important. We just want to progress, to become a better club, and I think some people respect that.” Bayern, of course, have been European champions four times while City have only ever played three matches in either the old European Cup or the Champions League combined.

Three-time European champions Inter Milan, who lost their opening match 1-0 to Trabzonspor of Turke, will look to bounce back in Moscow.