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October 1, 2013 7:45 PM BST
Amsterdam ArenA — Amsterdam
Referee:‬ J. Eriksson‎
Attendance:‬ 51692‎
Mario Balotelli 90+4′ (PG)

Ajax-AC Milan Preview: Rossoneri look for European respite after stumbling Serie A start

The two footballing giants have won the top European competition 11 times between them but, in a group with Barcelona, both desperately need three points

By Miles Chambers

Two of Europe's most successful clubs will go head-to-head when Ajax host AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Milan have tasted success in Europe's premier club competition on seven occasions - second only to Real Madrid - while Ajax have won the tournament four times.
But when it comes to recent form, Ajax certainly have the edge ahead of the fixture at the Amsterdam ArenA having thrashed Go Ahead Eagles 6-0 in their last outing.
On the other hand, Milan have struggled at the start of the new season, with Saturday's narrow 1-0 win over Sampdoria representing just their second in Serie A so far in 2013-14.
The Italians will at least be buoyed by the knowledge that they have already beaten Dutch opposition in the Champions League this term, with their group-stage participation sealed by a play-off round victory against PSV.
Massimiliano Allegri's team followed up that success with a 2-0 win against Celtic on matchday one, while Ajax found themselves on the wrong end of a 4-0 humbling away to Barcelona.
Milan's hopes of taking a good result from the Amsterdam ArenA are likely to rest on the shoulders of four-goal forward Mario Balotelli, while Ajax will rely on Kolbeinn Sigthorsson - who has six goals in 10 appearances this term - to put chances away.
The two teams have plenty of history in Europe, having met in the finals of both the 1968-69 and 1994-95 editions of the competition.
Milan ran out 4-1 winners in the former, with forward Pierino Prati notching a hat-trick, while a solitary strike from Patrick Kluivert saw Ajax exact revenge 26 years later.
The last meetings between the clubs came in the group stages of the 2010-11 tournament, with Ajax taking a 2-0 win in Milan and the teams sharing a 1-1 draw in Amsterdam.
With Barcelona looking strong favourites to win Group H already, Ajax and Milan will hope to land an early blow in what could be a race for the second qualification spot.
The hosts must bid for that win without the services of Thulani Serero (stomach) and Joel Veltman (knee) due to injury, though the Italians have a spate of problems in that regard.
Kaka, Mattia de Sciglio, Matias Silvestre and Giampaolo Pazzini (all knee) will miss out for Milan, though Stephan El Shaarawy, Riccardo Montolivo (both thigh) and Daniele Bonera (knee) could return.

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Head to Head
UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Dec 11, 2013 AC Milan 0 - Ajax 0
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Oct 1, 2013 Ajax 1 - AC Milan 1
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Dec 8, 2010 AC Milan 0 - Ajax 2
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UEFA Champions League ‎(UCL)‎ Sep 28, 2010 Ajax 1 - AC Milan 1
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Last Five Matches
Apr 20, 2014FC Zwolle 5 - Ajax 1NEDC
Apr 13, 2014Ajax 3 - ADO Den Haag 2NED1
Apr 6, 2014Vitesse 1 - Ajax 1NED1
Apr 2, 2014RKC 0 - Ajax 2NED1
Mar 30, 2014Ajax 3 - Twente 0NED1
AC Milan
Apr 19, 2014AC Milan 3 - Livorno 0ITA1
Apr 13, 2014AC Milan 1 - Catania 0ITA1
Apr 7, 2014Genoa 1 - AC Milan 2ITA1
Mar 29, 2014AC Milan 3 - Chievo 0ITA1
Mar 26, 2014Fiorentina 0 - AC Milan 2ITA1
Team News
Available Squads
22Jasper CillessenGoalkeeper
34Ricardo van RhijnDefender
25Niklas MoisanderDefender
17Daley BlindDefender
32Stefano DenswilDefender
5Christian PoulsenMidfielder
10Siem de JongMidfielder
-Lerin DuarteMidfielder
41Lesley de SaMidfielder
35Viktor FischerStriker
9Kolbeinn SigthórssonStriker
1Kenneth VermeerGoalkeeper
-Mike van der HoornDefender
15N. BoilesenDefender
20Lasse SchöneMidfielder
39Davy KlaassenMidfielder
-Danny HoesenStriker
-Lucas AndersenStriker
32Christian AbbiatiGoalkeeper
5Philippe MexesDefender
17Cristian ZapataDefender
20Ignazio AbateDefender
21Kevin Constant Midfielder
4Sulley MuntariMidfielder
18Riccardo MontolivoMidfielder
34Nigel De JongMidfielder
16Andrea PoliMidfielder
45Mario BalotelliStriker
1Marco AmeliaGoalkeeper
81Cristian ZaccardoDefender
-Antonio NocerinoMidfielder
24Bryan CristanteMidfielder
28Urby EmanuelsonMidfielder
14Valter BirsaMidfielder
32Alessandro MatriStriker
Group A Matchday 1
Times In BST
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Real Madrid
14 1
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
10 1
Messi Messi
8 2
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Atl. Madrid
7 0
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Manchester City
6 2