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Ajax vs. AC Milan: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 28:  Valter Birsa of AC Milan celebrates scoring the first goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and UC Sampdoria at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on September 28, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Ethan GrantAnalyst IOctober 1, 2013

Ajax Amsterdam and AC Milan will square off on Tuesday night in the Netherlands in what will be the second group match for both clubs in the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League draw. 

Milan powered their way to a 2-0 victory over Celtic to earn three quick points in the group table, but Ajax felt the full brunt of Barcelona's prowess in a 4-0 loss that threatens to doom the Eredivisie outfit the rest of the way. 

The Serie A side will be the favorite, but manager Massimiliano Allegri is refusing to give his club the benefit of the doubt heading into a crucial contest. Football Italia noted as much with this Twitter post on Monday:

While Ajax haven't beaten an Italian league side since 2002 (AS Roma), Milan enters this battle with only one loss (Napoli) in their last seven outcomes. Between road draws with Torino and Bologna and a 1-0 win over Sampdoria, Allegri has his men in good shape as they prepare for a pivotal road match. 

On the opposite sideline, Frank de Boer and the Lancers outscored FC Volendam and Go Ahead Eagles 10-2 in their last two matches after consecutive defeats to Barca and PSV Eindhoven. That momentum will face its toughest test to date against Milan. 

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 18:  Ajax Amsterdam players pose for a photo prior to the UEFA Champions League Group H match between FC Barcelona and Ajax Amsterdam ag the Camp Nou stadium on September 18, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Ge
David Ramos/Getty Images

We'll prepare you for this UCL match below. 

 

Match Information

Who: Ajax Amsterdam vs. AC Milan

What: 2013-14 UEFA Champions League Group Stage

When: Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 2:45 p.m. ET (7:45 p.m. BST)

Where: Amsterdam Arena; Amsterdam, Netherlands

Watch: MSG Plus, Fox Sports Florida/Ohio, Sky Sports Red Button

Live Stream: FoxSoccer2Go

Odds*: Ajax Amsterdam (32.3 percent), AC Milan (40.3 percent), Draw (27.4 percent)

*Odds via Bloomberg Sports, as of 9/30/13. 

 

2013-14 UEFA Champions League Group H Table

*via Fox Sports

 

Top Storyline

Mario Balotelli Back in the Spotlight

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 22:  Mario Balotelli of AC Milan appears dejected during the Serie A match between AC Milan and SSC Napoli at San Siro Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

The man, the myth, and the legend that is Mario Balotelli is set to be in Allegri's starting lineup on Tuedsay evening.

AC Milan News had this tweet with Balotelli and a few other Milan players expected to grace the pitch before kickoff:

After missing Milan's last two league matches as part of a three-game ban for a run-in with a referee during a 2-1 loss to Napoli, Balotelli will be well-rested and motivated to prove to doubters that his antics have not crippled his ability to contribute on the pitch. 

Fox Soccer's Amy Lawrence is among the doubters:

With quotes like the one shown below in this Football Italia tweet, it's hard to disagree with her assessment:

Milan will benefit from Balotelli's presence on the attacking half of the field, but he's been a ticking time bomb for drama that seems to be activated at the slightest movement. Back in the spotlight of European competition, it remains to be seen if his maturity level can match his play moving forward. 

 

Prediction

AC Milan 2, Ajax Amsterdam 1

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 28:  Head coach AC Milan Massimiliano Allegri reacts during the Serie A match between AC Milan and UC Sampdoria at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on September 28, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Ajax were clearly distraught at their performances against Barcelona and PSV Eindhoven. In losing those matches by an combined score of 8-0, the Lancers looked overmatched and outclassed by better competition. 

They've rebounded well in big victories since, but still find themselves in an underdog role despite hosting the match. 

Milan is showing strong form of late, and this is a victory they desperately need to move on to the Round of 16 with Barcelona still on the group schedule and table points not easy to come by. 

Behind a goal from Balotelli and a defensive effort that is just good enough, Milan keeps pace with Barca in the table. 

 

Follow B/R's Ethan Grant on Twitter. 

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