Playmaker David Silva has been ruled out of Manchester City's Champions League clash with Borussia Dortmund and could be doubtful for this weekend's derby against Manchester United.
Manager Roberto Mancini confirmed the Spaniard has not travelled to Germany with the rest of the squad for the final Group D match at the Westfalenstadion due to a hamstring injury.
City will now hope the 26-year-old can recover in time to feature in Sunday's eagerly anticipated top-of-the-table Barclays Premier League encounter with United at the Etihad Stadium.
Mancini knows the difficulties the Europa League can pose after his side also dropped into the second-tier competition last season.
But after being handed a tough Champions League group this season - with Real Madrid and Ajax making up the quartet - he is aware that progress could improve City's UEFA coefficient and help earn a better draw next time.
"If we didn't play well, Borussia and Real Madrid played better than us - we should accept this and we will try better next year" - Roberto Mancini
He 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 the Europa League."
City have failed to win any of their first five Group D matches and are bottom of the pool with just three points.
To qualify for the Europa League and leapfrog Ajax they need to beat group winners Dortmund and hope Real Madrid, also through to the last 16, prevent the Dutch side winning in the Spanish capital.
City began the competition with much higher hopes and, given their resources, outside expectations were also greater but Mancini insists he is not embarrassed by the situation.
He said: "Embarrassment for what, I don't know, but we are disappointed because we wanted to go to the second stage this year.
"I think in football you need to learn. If there are other teams that play better than you and deserve to go through, we should accept this.
"If we didn't play well, Borussia and Real Madrid played better than us - we should accept this and we will try better next year."