LONDON: Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero has an added incentive to keep his side's slim Champions League hopes alive when they welcome Real Madrid to the Etihad Stadium today.
Having yet to win a match in Group D, City are rock bottom with two points, yet victories over Real and in their final match away to group leaders Borussia Dortmund could see them squeeze into the last 16, depending on results
It looks a tall order, but a 5-0 home victory against Aston Villa on Saturday, when Aguero netted twice, sent them top of the Premier League and raised spirits in time for the visit of Jose Mourinho's side who could go through if they better Ajax's result against Dortmund.
City have only won three of their 10 matches in the Champions League since qualifying last season and failure to beat Real would eliminate them at the group stage for the second consecutive season although Aguero said they were determined to fight until the end.
Like City, Real are also buoyed by a big league victory, having thrashed Athletic Bilbao 5-1 at the weekend. France striker Karim Benzema, back after a thigh muscle injury, was in fine form in that victory.
Mourinho, hoping to lead Real to the 10th European crown that has eluded them since 2002, also has Sami Khedira back after injury.
The German international, who came on in the second half of the Bilbao game and netted Real's fifth, will likely rejoin Xabi Alonso in central midfield.
Mourinho will become the youngest coach to take charge of 100 Champions League matches today and only the fifth manager to reach the milestone after Carlo Ancelotti, Arsene Wenger, Ottmar Hitzfeld and Alex Ferguson.