Legendary Ajax ace Frank de Boer is stoking the fire ahead of his Champions League showdown by insisting his side will attack Manchester City.
The Dutch champions took three points from the reverse fixture two weeks ago after coming back from a goal down to win 3-1 – cementing City to the bottom of the group table with just one point in three ties.
And with only nine more points available, De Boer is eager to push his side on in the competition and sending Roberto Mancini’s men crashing out of their second season among Europe’s elite clubs.
“We want to be in the Champions League after the winter break as well,” he said.
“All the teams in this group do, and of course they want to have the nine points out of the three coming matches.
“We will give it a go to try to get a result here. Some of these teams will lose points and we will know who at the end of the match.”
Total football may not be as prevalent in Holland as the 1970s, but De Boer will not stand for a defensive line up as he refuses to alter Ajax’s ethos of football.
“We are not going to throw it open but it is not our way to play defensively,” said the most-capped Dutch outfield international.
“We want to show the way we play at Ajax, whether it is at home or away.”
“I said before the game that if we played our own game we could make it very difficult for anybody.
“If they were in good shape and were in good shape, maybe we could lose but there would be small margins and we could also win. Then the coin would be on our side.
“We really had to believe and I think we did that.”
Ajax’s last visit to Manchester proved fruitful after leaving Old Trafford with a 2-1 victory in the Europa League last season.
And despite losing the tie overall, De Boer is confident his players will use their belief to cause another upset in the city tonight.
“We showed it last year against Manchester United,” he added. “I think this group of players have already proved they can do it and I am not worried whether they really believe it.
“I want to see players who play bravely with their own qualities and maybe better.
“That makes you a better player if you can play your best under the highest pressure. A lot of players will have that tomorrow.”