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UEFA Champions League

  • December 11, 2013
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
  • Referee: H. Webb
  • • Attendance: 61744
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Champions League Preview: AC Milan - Ajax

Champions League Preview: AC Milan - Ajax

The Rossoneri know they only need a point to secure their place in the last 16 of the Champions League, while the Amsterdam outfit must win in Italy to ensure its progression.

AC Milan hosts Ajax on Wednesday in a Champions League showdown to decide who will join Group H leaders Barcelona in the knockout stages.

The home side currently sits two points behind the Catalans and could win the pool should the Spanish champions lose at home against the already-eliminated Celtic.

Ajax, meanwhile, is three points off the top, but cannot climb above Barcelona because of its inferior head-to-head record. However, it will be hoping to avoid conceding its 200th European Cup goal as it goes in search of the three points it needs to reach the last 16 at the Rossoneri's expense.

The Amsterdam outfit came close to a home win against Milan on matchday two, taking a 90th-minute lead through Stefano Denswil before Mario Balotelli equalized from the spot in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Frank de Boer's men have not won any of their last six away fixtures in the Champions League, dating back to a 2-0 success at Dinamo Zagreb in October 2011, but are unbeaten in their last three matches in Italy.

Milan ended a run of seven games without a win in all competitions when it cruised to a 3-0 win at Celtic last time out, scoring its 600th goal in competition in the process.

After a dismal start to the domestic season, Massimiliano Allegri's side is now unbeaten in four Serie A matches and appears to have turned a corner.

Its Dutch opponents defeated Barcelona 2-1 on matchday five in one of their biggest European results in recent years, and have won their last four matches in the Eredivisie, leaving them second behind Vitesse.

The four-time European Cup winners won 4-0 against NAC Breda in their most recent domestic fixture, and were victorious on their last visit to San Siro, when they ran out 2-0 winners in the 2010-11 Champions League group stages.

Marco Amelia (knee) is expected to be out until the new year, while Mattia De Sciglio (knee), who has made only one appearance since August, is among a number of injury doubts for Milan. Giampaolo Pazzini (knee) is a long-term absentee. Robinho is not expected to be back until the end of the year.

Ajax, meanwhile, is without its captain, Siem de Jong, and defender Nicolai Boilsen, who have both picked up hamstring injuries. Lerin Duarte also has ankle problems, while Joel Veltman is suspended.

However, it welcomes back Icelandic striker Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, who has recovered from an ankle injury he sustained in Iceland's World Cup playoff clash against Croatia.

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Last Five Matches
Milan
May 18, 2014Milan 2 - Sassuolo 1SR-A
May 11, 2014Atalanta 2 - Milan 1SR-A
May 4, 2014Milan 1 - Inter 0SR-A
Apr 25, 2014AS Roma 2 - Milan 0SR-A
Apr 19, 2014Milan 3 - Livorno 0SR-A
Ajax
May 14, 2014Persib Bandung 1 - Ajax 1FRC
May 11, 2014Persija Jakarta 0 - Ajax 3FRC
May 3, 2014Ajax 2 - NEC 2ERE
Apr 27, 2014Heracles Almelo 1 - Ajax 1ERE
Apr 20, 2014FC Zwolle 5 - Ajax 1NEDC
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
32Christian AbbiatiGoalkeeper
2Mattia De SciglioDefender
17Cristian ZapataDefender
21Kevin Constant Midfielder
25Daniele BoneraDefender
4Sulley MuntariMidfielder
18Riccardo MontolivoMidfielder
34Nigel De JongMidfielder
8KakáMidfielder
45Mario BalotelliStriker
92Stephan El ShaarawyStriker
-Ferdinando CoppolaGoalkeeper
5Philippe MexesDefender
81Cristian ZaccardoDefender
16Andrea PoliMidfielder
-Antonio NocerinoMidfielder
8Urby EmanuelsonMidfielder
32Alessandro MatriStriker
-Jasper CillessenGoalkeeper
34Ricardo van RhijnDefender
25Niklas MoisanderDefender
32Stefano DenswilDefender
5Christian PoulsenMidfielder
17Daley BlindDefender
39Davy KlaassenMidfielder
-Lasse SchöneMidfielder
25Thulani SereroMidfielder
35Viktor FischerStriker
-Bojan KrkicStriker
1Kenneth VermeerGoalkeeper
-Mike van der HoornDefender
31Ruben LigeonDefender
-Lucas AndersenStriker
9Kolbeinn SigthórssonStriker
-Danny HoesenStriker
41Lesley de SaMidfielder

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From the web