City face Bayern Munich at the Etihad on Tuesday evening, sitting bottom of their group with just two points from four games.
The Premier League champions have yet to win a game, and they could be knocked out at the group stages for the third time in four years should they lose tonight. If City lose, and either Roma or CSKA Moscow win in the other game, the Manchester club will be out of the tournament, and it could well spell the end of Manuel Pellegrini’s time in charge, and much of the playing squad - if reports are to be believed.
Having started the season with an incredible amount of pressure upon them to achieve highly, they face an insurmountable task with the visit of Bayern to the Etihad, with the German league leaders looking in imperious form. The Bundesliga champions have four wins from four to their name in the Champions League, scoring 11 goals and conceding just one in the process of securing their qualification.
It is not just the Champions League that City have struggled in this term, but they have made their task harder for themselves with a number of poor performances, and former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jermaine Jenas believes that they have built the tie up too much, turning it into something that they cannot psychologically overcome.
Speaking to the BBC, Jenas said: “I think they might be building it up too much.
“Because they’ve failed a couple of seasons now on the spin, it’s not working for them, and they are just finding it hard to put in the top performances.”
City looked well set to fix their problem start when they were 2-0 up away at CSKA in October. However, they collapsed under the pressure, conceding their two-goal lead and ending the game with just one point. They followed that up with a 2-1 loss at home to the same opposition that was highlighted by the dismissals of Fernandinho and Yaya Toure, and Jenas believes that ‘daft moments’ are costing the club.
“I think one of the big ones was when they were away at CSKA,” the 31-year-old added. “They had that game sown up, and it was just something silly.
“The penalty at the end that Kolarov conceded, that was just a daft moment, which in the Champions League you can’t afford.”